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Brazil – Brazilian Ministry of Tourism carries out study into gaming

By - 18 January 2016

According to local press reports the Ministry of Tourism is carrying out a survey into the impact of the legalisation of casinos and bingo halls throughout Brazil.

At the request of the executive branch, the Ministry of Tourism began the study late last year in order to support the proposals that the executive branch will eventually put forward in Congress. It is believed that the executive will initially attempt to authorise the opening of casinos in hotels and will use the findings of the report to defend its new policies.

The Ministry of Tourism Henrique Eduardo Alves began researching the issue in the last quarter of 2015 and has met with operators of casinos in Las Vegas and Punta del Este in order to obtain information on the profitability of the industry. According to local news portal G1, the minister also plans to meet with representatives of jurisdictions with more liberal gaming laws in place so that he may learn more about the different ways the industry is taxed, as well as the safeguards which have been put in place to prevent the use of gaming for money laundering and other criminal activities.

In August a number of legislators told press that President Dilma Rousseff’s had sought out their opinion on the issue. In the conversation with legislators, it is believed that the President admitted that the government was considering allowing gambling in order to improve the economy and reduce the fiscal deficit. In addition while there has been no official word from the President’s office regarding the issue both the Secretariat of Government Ricardo Berzoini and the minister of Tourism Henrique Eduardo Alves are in favour of regulation. It is believed that the government could use the data gathered by the Ministry of Tourism to modify gaming legislation currently now under debate or present new legislation.

In December the Special Committee on National Development approved Senate Bill Brazil 186/2014 which seeks to establish a regulatory framework for the legalisation of both land based and online gaming. Now that the bill is passed the Senate it will go to the House of Deputies for debate. 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.

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