Brazil's Senate approves the creation of a parliamentary front against gambling

Eduardo Girão, Federal Senator in Brazil.
Reading time 2:21 min

After the approval of the "Parliamentary Front for a Brazil Without Gambling", on Tuesday, April 19, Senator Eduardo Girão said that the number of supporters of PRS 11/2022 shows that the majority of the Senate is against the proposal that authorizes gambling in Brazil (PL 442/1991), and reiterated his arguments against the possibility of enabling the operation of casinos, bingos and the legalization of the 'jogo do bicho', among other forms of gambling.

"I have visited countries, talked to scholars as well as institutions of inspection and control in Brazil and abroad, and I was horrified by what is behind this: a very powerful lobby that destroys lives and entire families", Girão said, who also criticized the recent approval of PL 442/1991 "late at night" in the Chamber of Deputies.

According to what was reported by the Brazilian news portal BNL Data, the senator said that he believes that the advocates of gambling have achieved a result that is less favorable than expected. In fact, he foresees that if the Bill is approved and President Jair Bolsonaro follows through with his plan to veto it, there won't be enough votes in Congress to override said veto.

Senator Eduardo Girão.

Girão also praised Senator Jorge Kajuru, whom he considered an inspiration in his long-standing stance against gambling. Kajuru's report points out that 'the practice of gambling is a harmful activity both for the players as well as for the society in general since it causes losses that go far beyond the financial sphere, as it also affects people's health, increases crime and destroys families'.

The draft resolution was approved symbolically, with Senator Angelo Coronel voting against it. According to the text, its objective is to 'promote debates and adopt initiatives that discourage gambling and fight against the harmful consequences that it has on society.'

In his argument, Girão associated gambling with corrupt practices such as money laundering, tax evasion, corruption of public officials, and the generation of a favorable environment for gambling addiction.

"The legalization of gambling will entail a cost to society that is much higher than any benefits. Moreover, the benefits will be enjoyed by gambling operators while the consequences will be borne by society as a whole. The arguments of those who defend gambling highlight only the positive side and do not take into account the negative effects", he said.

In presenting his report, Kajuru congratulated Girão for the bravery of his initiative and stated that he expected controversy to escalate until the final debate on the release of gambling.

Senator Angelo Coronel.

But Coronel voted against the creation of the Parliamentary Front, arguing that gambling legalization will generate economic benefits, job creation, and higher tax collection.

"Being against the legalization of gambling in Brazil is a step backward. We have to face it as an economic activity, we cannot give up the legalization of an activity that is already being freely exploited (...) They do not pay anything in taxes to Brazil, and we cannot live in this modern world without legalizing gambling in Brazil", he said.

In an analysis by Magnho José, from the BNL Data portal, it is mentioned that the parliamentary front would not have a practical effect, but would show the weight of the opposition to legalization within the Senate.

According to the journalist and president of the Brazilian Legal Gaming Institute, Senator Girão revealed that the collegiate will be composed of 35 senators, and its objective will be to debate the proposal, which was previously approved by the Chamber of Deputies.

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