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Brazil – São Paulo government supports Brazil’s gaming bill

By - 5 October 2016

The state government of São Paulo has officially welcomed pro gambling legislation which would allow for bingo halls and casinos.

Speaking on the last day of the ABAV International Tourism Fair which is promoted by the Brazilian Travel Agencies Association – (ABAV) the new Secretary of Tourism of the State of São Paulo Laércio Benko said that he was in favour of green lighting resort casinos and that he hoped that Congress showed good judgement when it came to drafting Brazil’s new gaming laws.

The official said that it was essential that the new law focused on large scale projects and resorts and that the new law would not simply be a way to “allow for slots on every corner.”

Casinos and gambling was one of the hot topics during the 44th edition of Brazil’s largest tourism expo which took place in São Paulo and ran from 28th September until September 30th. During the opening ceremony the Secretary of Tourism for Rio de Janeiro Nilo Felix also said that he was in favour of green lighting casinos and welcomed the new act saying that it would increase revenue for the state and generate jobs.

Support for new gaming legislation was also apparent at the Equipotel conference also held in São Paulo which ran from 19th to 22nd September. The conference, which focuses on the hospitality,as well as the food and services industry in Latin America, was the venue for a seminar on the impact of a newly regulated gaming industry. During the seminar Bruno Omori, President of the Brazilian Association of Hotels for the State of São Paolo said: “With the release (of gaming) Brazil will become internationally competitive, increasing the quality of hotel developments and directly increasing the demand for Brazilian and foreign tourists.”

The news comes at a time when a number of details are emerging regarding Brazil’s new gaming act now that it has been passed by The Special Committee in the House of Representatives. The latest round of proposals, which were put forward last month by Deputy Guilherme Mussi and have now been agreed upon, outline a number of significant changes to how gaming could be regulated by the state as Brazil comes ever closer to passing pro gaming legislation.

Crucially, the draft of the new law contains a number of measures designed to combat one of the most contentious issues of the bill as it was discussed in the committee stage namely money laundering and corruption. As a result all gambling operations will by law be connected online and in real time to a government controlled server. In addition in order to ensure compliance all equipment will need to be certified by an internationally recognised gaming testing laboratory.

The latest draft of the new act also states that casinos can only be established in integrated hotel establishments such as large scale resorts. Depending on the population, the hotels where the casinos operate will need to offer a minimum number of rooms, ranging from 100 (to states with less than 5m inhabitants) to thousands (in states with more than 25m).

The final draft marks the culmination of over ten months work. In all five different versions of the new law have been drafted before the committee finally approved the final draft which should go before the House of Representatives in the coming weeks.

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