National Congress of Brazil Puts Gambling Legalization Hopes to End

Plans for land-based casino gambling legalization have fallen apart in the Chamber of Deputies, and the Senate’s Committee on Consultation, Justice and Citizenship made an unexpected move on the gambling bill.

The plans for the long-awaited gambling legalization seem to be slowing down, with the prospect of gaming becoming legal in Brazil now looking smaller after facing major hurdles in both chambers of the country’s National Congress.

A new proposal to greenlight only land-based casino gambling has recently been rolled out by the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism, but it was soon prevented from happening, after facing the opposition of a number of lawmakers.

A piece of legislation which presented plans for the development and construction of 32 casino resorts in Brazil was officially introduced as an amendment to a tourism reforms package in February 2018. The casino resorts in question were planned to be established across the entire country, with at least one venue situated in each sate and the capital Brasilia, two venues in Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, and up to three casinos proposed to be established in Sao Paulo.

Deputy Cesar Halum, however, commented on the proposed bill, characterizing the proposal as a “pirate amendment”, which could not be related to the main issue of the original bill. According to Mr. Halum, all forms of gambling should be given the green light together, as proposed in bill PL 442/1991. The latter has been rolled out earlier in 2018 and is currently waiting for the lower house to have a vote. Halum explained that all gaming modalities must be legalized together, or not legalized at all.

According to deputy Joao Carlos Bacelar, gambling legislation would liberalize local gaming market and would come as an exclusive benefit of large US gambling operators and companies that want to take advantage of the Brazilian market in general.

Other Gambling Legislation Attempts

Earlier in March, a proposed piece of legislation that would have made allowed some gambling services to be offered to local customers got turned down by the Senate Constitution and Justice Committee. The proposed piece of legislation, called PL 186/2014, contained provisions concerning the legalization of land-based bingo halls and casino venues, as well as provisions related to video gaming, sports betting, jogo do bicho and online gaming.

The bill reached the Senate Constitution and Justice Committee but was eventually turned down. In spite of the fact that the Committee rejected the proposed piece of legislation, there was still hope for the PL 186/2014 bill to proceed in the country’s National Congress, since it can be voted in a special plenary meeting in case that a Senator requests such a review.

The negative vote on the above-mentioned piece of legislation came shortly after a proposal for the legalization of land-based casino gambling was made by the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism. Unfortunately, the fate of gambling legalization seems uncertain now, with the amendments set to be brought to the current status quo rejected by local lawmakers.

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