Brazilian senate approved a project to criminalize games of chance

Commission of Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJ) approved last week the bill presented by senator Jarbas Vasconcelos (PMDB-PE), who criminalizes games of chance operation, including traditional “juego del bicho”and electronic games.

The proposal (PLS 274/06) withdraws the games of chance operators from the Law of Penal Violation (Decree-Law 3.688/41) to insert it in the Penal Code (Decreree-Law nº 2.848/40). With this, the game starts being considered as a crime in all Brazilian territory.

The project was presented by the Investigative Commission of the Parliament, that in 2004 and 2005 investigated the connections between gambling and organized crime, called bingo CPI.

On the text approved by CCJ that will now be voted in the Plenary of the Senate, games of chance operators will now be punished with 1 to 3 years of imprisonment, plus taxes to be fixed on the trial. The project increases the penalty a third more if the person that practices games of chance is a public officer.

A game of chance is a game, electronic or not, in which the profit or the loss depends exclusively or mainly in luck, and all the activity that, through the distribution of bills, lists, coupons, tickets, signals, symbols or similar mediums, depend on a draw to obtain a prize in cash or assets.