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Brazil – Brazilian Gaming Act will go before Senate

By - 14 March 2016

The Special Committee on National Development has approved amendments to Brazil’s new gaming laws meaning that the law will soon be put forward before the Senate for approval.

The draft law was initially approved in December and it was initially destined to go straight to for analysis in the Chamber of Deputies. However, Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, an opponent of the project, managed to gather enough signatures to ensure that the bill would not go direct to the Chamber of Deputies for approval without full Senate approval first.

Last week the committee approved a number of amendments to the legislation, which is a revised version of a bill initially put forward by Senator Ciro Nogueira in 2014. The bill proposes the legalisation of casinos, bingo halls, slot parlours and the popular “Jogo do Bicho” or “Animal Game.” The text defines the types of gaming that can be played in Brazil, the criteria for how licences are to be granted and the rules for the distribution of prizes as well as how gaming is to be taxed in the future.
According to the latest draft of the new act, casinos must be part of larger leisure complexes, with hotels and restaurants. The text of the new version of the bill would allow for 35 casinos, with at least one per state while some states would be permitted to have as many as three, depending on the population and the economic outlook in each state. The resorts will only be permitted to use 10 per cent of the available space for gaming while the remaining space will be used for restaurants, shops, theatres, exhibition space, as well as others facilities. Bingos will be permitted in municipalities with more than 150,000 inhabitants while the animal game will be regulated by municipal governments which will also be responsible for tax collection.

Of the twenty one amendments put forward, head of the committee Senator Maggi upheld five, including the extension of the ban on elective office holders and their spouses or relations, on operating gaming establishments.

The bill is being debated as part of “Brazil Agenda” a set of new rules put forward by the President of the Senate, Renan Calheiros – a business-friendly agenda which is designed to provide a much needed boost to economic growth. The text will now go to the full Senate for approval and if approved will be submitted to the House of Representatives.

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