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Brazil’s Gambling Industry Expansion: A Step Forward with New Casino and Bingo Bill

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Brazil is moving forward with reforms in its gambling sector, aiming to expand the industry and regulate it more effectively. A significant milestone was achieved when bill 2,234/2022 gained approval from the Senate’s Constitution and Justice Committee. This bill, supported by 14 votes to 12, paves the way for land-based casinos and instant win games in the country, marking a potential end to the 1946 Decree Law by President Gaspar Dutra, which had banned casinos.

Under this new legislation, Brazil would see the establishment of land-based casinos in tourist spots or integrated resorts, limited to one casino per state. However, larger states like Amazonas, Minas Gerais, Paraná, and Rio de Janeiro would be allowed two casinos each, while São Paulo could host three. This structured distribution aims to balance tourism growth and regional development.

Moreover, the bill introduces regulations to ease up on bingo gaming. Municipalities will be permitted to host bingo venues, provided the operators have a capital of at least $1.8 million. These licenses would be valid for 25 years, ensuring long-term investment in the sector. Additionally, the bill outlines similar regulatory measures for jogo do bicho games.

The financial framework mandates that casino and bingo operators allocate at least 80% of their revenue to prizes, while jogo do bicho operators must reinvest at least 40% of their revenue in prizes. Prizes exceeding $1,800 will attract a 20% tax, with proceeds reinvested into Brazil’s tourism, culture, and sports sectors, contributing to broader societal benefits.

Senator Irajá Abreu, a key proponent of the bill, emphasized the necessity of aligning Brazil’s gambling laws with global standards. He argued that proper regulation would allow Brazilians to enjoy gambling safely and generate substantial economic benefits, including an estimated $18.4 billion in revenue and numerous direct and indirect jobs.

The bill forms part of a broader strategy to expand Brazil’s gambling industry and meet the growing demand for legalized games of chance. Advocates have pushed for a comprehensive framework that provides adults with more legal wagering options. However, the bill includes strict measures to ensure responsible gambling. It would establish a National Register of Prohibited Persons (Renapro) to prevent gambling by staff, leadership, and individuals who are insolvent or heavily indebted. This initiative also proposes a customer protection scheme to safeguard players.

Despite the progress, not all stakeholders are supportive. The Evangelical Caucus in the Senate has raised concerns about player safety and is pushing for amendments to exempt areas with high crime rates from gambling activities. They argue that these reforms should not proceed without robust safeguards for players.

In conclusion, Brazil’s approval of bill 2,234/2022 represents a significant step toward modernizing its gambling laws and expanding the industry. By balancing regulation with economic opportunities, the country aims to create a safe and lucrative gambling environment while addressing concerns about player protection and social impacts.

Gambling Laws in Latin America

In recent years, Latin America has seen varying approaches to gambling regulations across different countries. In Argentina, gambling regulations are managed at the provincial level, resulting in a patchwork of rules and regulations. Buenos Aires, for example, has a well-developed gambling market with both land-based and online options, regulated by the Instituto Provincial de Lotería y Casinos. The city’s stringent regulations ensure a high level of player protection and fair play. However, other provinces might have different rules or less developed regulatory frameworks, leading to disparities in the gambling experience and enforcement across the country.

Similarly, in Mexico, gambling is regulated by the General Directorate of Games and Raffles under the Ministry of the Interior. The country has a robust legal framework that governs both land-based and online gambling, with licenses required for operators. Mexican laws emphasize consumer protection and the prevention of money laundering, aiming to ensure a secure and fair gambling environment. Despite these regulations, enforcement can sometimes be inconsistent, and there are calls for more uniform regulations and better oversight to ensure compliance and protect players effectively. Other Latin American countries like Chile and Colombia are also working towards modernizing their gambling laws to keep up with the growing demand and technological advancements in the industry.


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