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Brazil Passes Bingo Ban

1 April 2004

BRAZIL – As reported by the Reuters: " Brazil's government won a much-needed political victory after the lower house of Congress passed a measure outlawing bingo parlours in a move to stamp out a source of illegal campaign funding.

"The bill's passage was seen as a test of the government's strength after it was damaged by a scandal centred around a gambling boss who had contacts with an aide to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's chief of staff.

"In response, the government outlawed bingos, arguing they were a source of illegal campaign funds and money laundering.

"…On Tuesday, the lower house of Congress ratified the decree in general terms. It must still vote on the measure item by item before it can send the bill to the Senate.

"The decision to close down bingos proved unpopular with many Brazilians as it left thousands without work at a time of high unemployment…"

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