Online Poker Included In Brazilian Gambling Bill

Legalisation bill tempts government with tax possibilities on a potentially $6.8 billion market

If Brazilian Senator Ciro Nogueira has his way, online poker could be legalised in the booming Brazilian gambling market, opening up another exciting regional opportunity for the industry.

The Senator has drafted a bill to regulate and tax online sports betting, casino, poker and bingo and proposes a 10 percent of GGR tax rate for operators on taxable revenue that could accrue from a market estimated to be capable of delivering $6.8 billion a year.

The Nogueira proposal could offer a way out of current difficulties in Brazil, where the federal government has reclaimed online licensing privileges and enforcement powers from the provinces.

Horse racing, lotteries and live poker tourneys are currently the only forms of gambling that are permitted in the huge and populous South American nation.

Bill PLS186/2014 authored by the Senator suggests a tempting tax split through which national government would take 7 percent and the province in which an online poker operator is licensed takes 3 percent of the tax raised.

In submitting his bill, Senator Nogueira pointed out: "Among the 193 countries that are members of the United Nations, 75.52 percent of them have legalised gambling, while Brazil is among the 24.48 percent who do not.

"Among the 156 countries that comprise the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 71.16 percent of them have chosen to legalise gambling. And we have to consider that 75 percent of the countries that haven't done so, are Islamic, and therefore anti-gambling because of their religious beliefs."

The Senator estimates that there are over 8.6 million Brazilians interested in gambling, more than two million of whom play online poker regularly.

His proposals include bringing all forms of gambling under a national regulator; operator financial guarantees of $2.3 million; stiff punitive measures – including prison sentences – for illegal operators; and provisions to stem the estimated $8 billion a year flow of money to illegal operators;

Senator Nogueira's bill is currently with the Committee on Regional Tourism Development at the national Senate, and will have to pass through the Economic and Justice Affairs and other committees before reaching the floor for debate.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

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