International edition
May 11, 2021

A proposal brought forward by Federal Rep. João Carlos Bacelar Batista

Brazil’s lower house to discuss amendment to decriminalize gambling

Brazil’s lower house to discuss amendment to decriminalize gambling
The measure requires a simple majority vote to be approved and head to the Senate. Bacelar presides over the Parliamentary Front for the Regulation of Gambling.
Brazil | 03/16/2020

The federal representative for the Bahia State seeks to repeal sections 50 to 58 of the criminal law ‘Lei das Contravenções Penais’. "This law prohibits the operation of gambling by private parties... In other words, gambling is technically not forbidden in Brazil, but the government has exclusive rights over its operation."

T

he deadline to submit amendments to Medida Provisória 923/2020, an executive order issued by president Jair Bolsonaro, was last Monday. The text includes amendments to Law No. 5,768, dated December 20, 1971, which regulates raffles on national FTA TV channels.

Senators and members of the Chamber of Deputies —the Brazilian Congress’ lower house— submitted a total of 48 amendments. Number 47 was drafted by João Carlos Bacelar Batista, president of the Parliamentary Front for the Regulation of Gambling. The proposal by the federal representative for the Bahia State would repeal sections 50 to 58 of the criminal law ‘Lei das Contravenções Penais’.

If the proposed amendment is accepted and Medida Provisória 923/2020 approved, the operation of gambling in Brazil will no longer be considered a criminal act.

As reported by Consultor Jurídico and BNL Data, the text will now be voted on by the whole Chamber of Deputies, where only a simple majority is required to send the proposal to the Senate. If Senators make amendments, the text will go back to the Chamber of Deputies. If approved as originally drafted, it would only require the president’s signature to become a law.

"The criminal law ‘Lei das Contravenções Penais’ prohibits the operation of gambling by private parties... In other words, gambling is technically not forbidden in Brazil, but the government has exclusive rights over its operation. This could explain why this activity has not been regulated yet: the State hates competition," Bacelar claimed when he presented the proposal.

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