The Brazilian senate is soon to consider a bill modeled after the UIGEA — banning payments to and from online gambling sites. The original legislation was introduced 15 months ago, but more recently has grown some teeth. At President Lula de Silva’s behest, in an effort to move the bill forward and pass it before the end of 2010, the Senate has attached companion legislation that requires Brazilian ISPs to block access to prohibited sites, and calls for prison time for violations. Also attached to the bill now is a parallel ban on child pornography.
Senator Alves Filho maintains that Brazil can follow the UIGEAâ€™s example in restricting offshore gaming.
â€œThis bill is inspired by the law recently approved in the United States,â€ the senator acknowledges in his explanatory notes to the draft legislation.
â€œ[The UIGEA] adopted a strategy that is worthwhile bringing across to our jurisdiction: as it is not possible to punish those responsible for electronic sites based in other countries… we punish those that allow these sites to be accessed from our national territory.
â€œIt is for this reason that the North American law and this current project are principally directed towards internet service providers, credit card companies and towards banks.â€
The senator adds: â€œThe North American law has produced good results. For example, as a result of the law, the well-known betting site Bwin withdrew from the US [market]. We consider [the bill] to be a great contribution towards the improvement of our criminal legislation and towards the fight against gambling in our country.â€
An amendment added in July expressly prohibits unauthorized lotteries, too. This comes as little surprise considering
“the fight against gambling” that Brazil’s national lottery operator, the public bank Caixa EcÃ´nomica Federal, began preparing to launch its own online lottery at about the same time.