Brazil’s finance minister backs land-based casino legalisation

A vote on Brazil
A vote on Brazil

Fernando Haddad has put his support behind Bill 2,234/22.

Brazil.- Fernando Haddad, Brazil’s minister of finance, has expressed favour for Bill 2,234/22, which would legalise land-based casinos as well as bingos, horseracing betting and instant win games.

Responding to senator Irajá Silvestre, rapporteur for the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ), Haddad said: “All OECD countries, almost all G20 countries and more than 90 per cent of all countries have regulated land-based gambling. As long as it is well-disciplined, done well, moral and with the supervision of the Brazilian state and the protection of the citizens, it is something that can generate employment and income for our country.”

Silvestre had presented a study that estimated that the regulation of the sector could generate 22m Brazilian reals (€3.76m) a year in tax revenue. “We are not dealing here with an ideological agenda, it is an economic, social agenda, the generation of employment, income, taxes that will be reversed in projects in the essential areas,” he said.

Bill 2,234/22 still requires Senate approval, with a vote expected next month after the parliamentary recess. President Lula da Silva has said he sees no reason not to sign the bill if it is approved. 

The potential legalisation of land-based gambling in Brazil

The bill would reverse President Gaspar Dutra’s 1946 Decree Law, which banned casinos from operating in municipalities and districts. It would allow land-based casinos in tourist locations or “integrated leisure complexes” with a limit of one per state and the Federal District. The larger states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Paraná and Amazonas would be allowed two casinos, and São Paulo three.

Meanwhile, bingo would be allowed in one designated establishment per municipality plus additional venues depending on population size. Licences valid for 25 years would be granted by municipalities and would require a minimum capital of R$10m. As for jogo do bicho, one operator would be allowed for every 700,000 inhabitants in each state and the Federal district.

Regarding horseracing, the bill would promote the modernisation of turf courses to be overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Last month, the Senate Constitution and Justice Committee (CCJ) approved the bill by 14 votes to 12. However, it has long been resisted by the evangelical bloc, which argues that the current draft lacks sufficient safeguards to help prevent addiction. It wants a ban on gambling in municipalities with high crime rates. 

The potential legalisation of land-based gambling in Brazil is being treated separately from sports betting, which was signed off by President Lula da Silva in December. Progress is being made in establishing a regulatory framework with a view to launch regulated sports betting in Brazil this year.

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gambling regulation Land-based casinos