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Brazil – Rapporteur for wider gambling bill selected in senate

By - 28 November 2023

The president of the Constitution Justice and Citizenship Committee (CCJ), Senator Davi Alcolumbre has appointed Senator Irajá as the rapporteur of gambling bill PL 2234/23.

The draft of the law, which aims to allow for large scale casinos and other types of gambling, was sent to the Senate’s for discussion in May by the President of the Senate Rodrigo Pacheco. The bill (PL 442/91) was passed in the lower house and is now in the senate under the name draft Law No. 2234/2022. The text replaces as many as 20 other gambling related projects all of which have been discussed over many years.

Senator Irajá is a supporter of a much larger expansion of the gambling industry. In 2020 the senator put forward his own gambling bill.  Bill 4495/2020 would allow for Integrated Resorts via a public tender with licences being valid for 35 years. The bill caps a maximum of one resort per state and one in the Federal District. It addresses the benefits of integrated casinos in the wider context of tourism policy only and does not address any other forms of gambling.   

In February 2022 in justifying the need for his integrated resort bill he said a wider expansion of the industry was necessary:

 “It is time to create new products and services to increase the number of foreign visitors and generate more jobs, creating a safe legal framework for investors and with strict rules for the actions of inspection and control bodies,” Irajá said according to the Brazilian Senate News Agency. According to his estimates the bill would lead to investments of R$44,000m (US$7,384m) and the creation of as many as 200 thousand jobs.

The senator’s appointment for Bill PL 2234/23 comes as the plenary senate looks to discuss the sports betting bill.

However PL 2234/23 is a much wider gambling bill. If approved it would allow for a much wider expansion of the market as it would allow casino riverboats and bingo halls with electronic bingo machines on site as well.

According to the text, casinos may be installed in resorts as part of an integrated leisure complex. There may be three casinos when the state’s population is greater than 25 million. For states with more than 15 million and up to 25 million inhabitants, there may be two casinos. 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 up to two establishments in leisure complexes in states measuring more than 1 million square km in size. In locations classified as tourist centres or destinations, the installation of a casino will be allowed, regardless of the population density of the state in which they are located.

The law also permits municipalities and the Federal District to license bingo halls. Bingo halls will also be allowed in stadiums with a capacity of over 15 thousand fans. Online gambling will also be permitted although the bill covers online gambling in very general terms.

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