The Chamber has issued a favourable opinion on the text that would legalise games of chance, including casinos, bingo halls and Jogo do Bicho.
Brazil.- After endless comings and goings and an announced postponement of the debate until March, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies has finally given a positive opinion to the country’s proposed Gambling Regulatory Framework.
The Chamber of Deputies approved the basic text of bill 442/91 by 246 votes against 202. The bill would legalise games of chance in Brazil, including casinos, bingo, Jogo do Bicho and online games. Licences would be permanent or for a fixed period.
According to the text, casinos may be installed in resorts as part of an integrated leisure complex that must contain at least 100 high-end hotel rooms, meeting and event rooms, restaurants, bars and shopping centers.
The physical space of the casino must be, at most, equal to 20 per cent of the built area of the complex. To determine the places where casinos can be opened, the Executive Power must consider the existence of the tourist heritage and the economic and social potential of the region.
It was defined that there may be three casinos when the population of the State is greater than 25 million (only São Paulo, according to the 2021 estimate).
In States with more than 15 million and up to 25 million, two casinos may be developed, as is the case of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. Meanwhile, in other States and in the Federal District, with a population of up to 15 million inhabitants, there may be only one casino.
Additionally, the Executive Branch may grant the operation of casinos in entertainment complexes to up to two establishments in states with a dimension greater than 1 million km2.
Each economic group may be the holder of a single concession per federal entity and the accreditation will be carried out by public auction.
Casinos and tourism
In localities classified as tourist centers or destinations, the installation of a casino will be allowed, regardless of the population density of the state. The proposal defines these places as those that have regional identity and an adequate infrastructure and offer of tourist services, high density of tourists and a natural heritage recognition.
A tourist casino may not be located less than 100 km from any casino integrated into an entertainment complex.
A new feature in relation to previous versions of the text is the mention of casinos on river boats, one for each river with 1,500km to 2,500km in length; two for each river with a length between 2,500km and 3,500km; and three for rivers with a length greater than 3,500km.
These vessels may not anchor in the same place for more than 30 consecutive days, and the concession may be for up to ten establishments. These ships must have a minimum of 50 high-end rooms, restaurants and bars and shopping malls, as well as venues for events and meetings.
The text allows for permanent bingo only in bingo houses, allowing the municipalities and the Federal District to explore these games in venues with a capacity of more than 15,000. Bingo houses must have a minimum capital of R$10m (USD1.9m) and be located in premises with a minimum area of 1,500 square meters. Up to 400 video bingo machines may be hosted, but slot machines will be prohibited.
According to the text, a maximum of one bingo house will be accredited for every 150,000 inhabitants. Licensed places will have a 25-year authorization, renewable for an equal period.
Jogo do Bicho
For the legalisation of Jogo do Bicho, the text requires that all the licensee’s records, whether betting or withdrawal, be computerised with the possibility of online access in real time by the Syndicate, through an Audit and Control System (SAC).
Interested parties must present a minimum share capital of R$10m (USD1.9m) and reserve funds in guarantee for the payment of the obligations and rights foreseen in the project, except the award, which can be in the form of a guarantee in cash, insurance guarantee or bank guarantee.
The accreditation will be for a period of 25 years, renewable for an equal period if the requirements are met. There may be, at most, one operator for every 700,000 inhabitants of the state or DF. The redemption of prizes up to the Income Tax exemption limit will not require player identification.
If there are no regulations after 12 months of validity of the future law, the provisional operation of video bingo, bingo and Jogo do Bicho will be authorised throughout the national territory until regulations are released.