Brazil’s Gambling Legislation to Take Center Stage in the Chamber of Deputies

Posted on: June 28, 2022, 06:04h. 

Last updated on: June 28, 2022, 08:24h.

Brazil’s Senate may not be willing to advance gambling legalization. But the Chamber of Deputies isn’t going to let that stand in the way. Instead, it will launch a new discussion on the subject beginning Wednesday.

Deputy Newton Cardoso
Brazilian legislator Newton Cardoso of the Chamber of Deputies, shown appearing before the chamber. He is continuing to push for the legalization of gambling, even as the Senate procrastinates. (Image: Divulgação/ Agência Câmara)

The Regulatory Framework of Gambling isn’t moving anywhere in the Senate. However, the Tourism Commission of the Chamber of Deputies announced that this Wednesday, it will open a debate on the legalization of gambling.

The initiative follows a request by Deputy Newton Cardoso. The Chamber of Deputies already approved bill 442/91, but it now lies dormant in the Senate.

Stuck in the Mud

The Tourism Commission sent out invitations to several people to participate in the discussion. Among them are Leônidas Oliveira, Secretary of State for Culture and Tourism of Minas Gerais and attorney Luiz Felipe Maia. In addition, Luiz Carlos Prestes Filho, author of the book Brasil, Você Tá Duro Porque Quer (Brazil, you are hard because you want to be), is participating.

The debate on the subject is timely and of national interest, since the legalization of gambling is shown as a promising path for the recovery of the economy, above all, generating jobs and foreign exchange for the country,” said Brazil Deputy Newton Cardoso.

Cardoso explained that the book brings together a collection of interviews he conducted in 2021 with several personalities linked to the gaming sector in the country. Prestes is one of the biggest advocates of gambling legalization in Brazil. The title alludes to the fact that Brazil’s government is making things more difficult than it has to in terms of new legislation.

The book includes over 30 interviews with politicians, businessmen, lawyers, and artists. They all weigh in on gambling as a recreational activity and how the activity is capable of generating hundreds of thousands of formal jobs and millions of dollars in taxes.

After endless back and forth and delays, the Regulatory Framework for Gambling reached the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil at the end of February. Subsequently, in a super-long session, the project obtained a positive majority opinion.

More recently, there have been new rumors about the possibility of postponing the debate on the regulation of gambling until next year. However, local media also reported that the project could return to the scene soon.

Catching Up With the Times

The bill provides for permanent or temporary licenses for the exploitation of gambling in Brazil, including bingos, casinos, horse and dog races, and integrated resorts. These would fall under the category of tourist operations.

If the project finds approval as it stands, each state could have a casino, with the exception of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Amazonas, and Pará. These would have two each. In addition, São Paulo could have up to three because of its size.

The project also authorizes river casinos, with one establishment per river of a length between 1,500 km and 2,500 km (932 and 1,553 miles). Two river casinos could run on a river between 2,500 km and 3,500 (2,174 miles) and three on longer rivers. The maximum is 10 floating casinos.