Brazil’s gambling vote has been long-delayed and it looks like 2017 will not be an exception. A vote to legalise gambling has been delayed again after Brazil’s law makers decided they have more important issues to deal with.
Brazilians hoped to arrange a final vote on the two competing gambling bills – the Senate’s 186/2014 and the Chamber of Deputies’ 442/1991 – in December however, this plan has been cancelled.
Gambling proponent and senator Fernando Bezerra Coelho appeared on Radio Jornal de Pernambuco’s Super Morning program and informed that the 186/2014 bill had been sent to the Committee on Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJ). Coelho hoped that discussions and research on individual points of the current bill will be done promptly “so that it can finally be deliberated by the Plenary.” However, he expressed his beliefs that it might take until “March, April, (to) gather support necessary for the activity of gambling to be legalised in Brazil.”
The question of legalising gambling became even more controversial when Brazil’s Catholic clergy urged the voters to oppose gambling liberalisation and to pressure politicians to reject the project in order to prevent “irreparable moral, social and family damage.”
Coelho admitted that the religious arguments “will carry a very great weight in the debate on this issue,” but he presented the examples of other religious countries that managed to reach a compromise with gambling interests.
Coelho added that legalised gambling would offer Brazil the opportunity to “generate jobs, generate income, generate taxes, so that the country can live better times.”
Even though supporting lawmakers had promised a boost that would be provided to the struggling economy by legalising gambling, the final vote could still be the longest wait.