The legalisation of online gambling in Brazil is taking an inordinate amount of time to evolve, but the politicians appeared this week to be making some progress with the Senate Special Committee on National Development's approval of proposal 186/2014.
The proposal is a wide-ranging piece of legislation covering a variety of gambling genres, including online gambling, and will now progress to a full Senate vote – not necessarily immediately but at some future point.
Assuming it is approved by the Senate, the measure will then go to the lower-ranking Chamber of Deputies for consideration and hopefully a vote. The Chamber toyed with its own gambling bill earlier this year and it made no progress, but it could surface later this (November) month when the Chamber again sits.
However, international operators should not be too optimistic, as it is understood that the draft measure now before the Senate has protectionism clauses which will restrict licensing to the national lottery operator, at least as far as online sports betting is concerned, and online bingo to existing terrestrial licence holders.
In that respect the Brazilians appear to have ignored the lessons learned elsewhere that monopolising and protectionism rarely fare well against free enterprise with more competitive offers.