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New Gaming Bill Could Be On the Way in Brazil

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  • Brazil's budget crisis could be the catalyst to a bill passing to regulate online gaming in the country.

Brazil's fiscal crisis brings hopes to the country that gaming regulation could pass to allow casinos in the country for the first time in 70 years.

Last week, Brazil's Special Commission on National Development overwhelming approved Bill 186 by a vote of 8-2 with one member abstaining. The bill, authored by Senator Ciro Nogueira, a huge proponent for gaming reform in Brazil, has a long way to go before it can become law of the land, but this is a step in the right direction. Legislators in the Senate must approve the bill by a full vote while also receiving approval from both Brazil's lower house and President Dilma Rousseff before passing it into law.

While there is reason for optimism, the hurdles to climb for a new gaming regime can prove to be significant. Over the summer, Rousseff vetoed a bill passed by Congress that would have introduced legalized fixed-odd sports betting in the country. At the same time, eGamingReview reported that Rousseff passed legislation directed at the estimated eight million Brazilian gamblers using offshore sites. Under the laws, players can be fined from £400 to £40,000 for activity on unlicensed sites.

However, it appears that Rousseff is now open to a new gaming regime as a method to bring well-needed funds into the nation's coffers due to the financial crisis. Close associates of Rousseff are on record that the government is willing to enact a new national gaming initiatives to support the nation's struggling economy.

This isn't the first time in recent history that Brazil's politicians have attempted to pass gaming regulation. In July 2014, Senator Noguiera unsuccesfully introduced a bill that proposed to tax all forms of gambling.

At the time, Noguiera outlined how significant the tax revenues could be for his country in its time of need.

"According to some studies, if regulated, the gambling market could bring to the State new revenues for at least R$15 billion (approximately $3.8 billion) a year," Nogueira said.

The country was undergoing a budget crisis when this bill was introduced, however, proponents of regulated gaming hope that the extended crisis will bring forth better results this time around.

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