Skip to main content

Casino Gambling Expansion Efforts to Be Renewed in Brazilian Senate

The Government of Brazil continues making an effort to expand the country’s legal gambling sector. A number of projects seeking to do so are currently underway, and local Senators are now trying to bring a new life to a plan that could result in the establishment of more casinos in the country’s gambling sector.

Late last month, Brazil’s Senate gave the green light to the bill seeking to legalize the operation of casinos in tourist resorts across the country, PL 2.648/2019. The proposed piece of legislation failed to pass the local Legislature in previous attempts. Now, Senator Algelo Coronel, who had previously played the role of the initiative’s rapporteur, is trying to revive the bill that, however, will need more serious support to remain active.

Originally, the piece of legislation that is being put back on the table was introduced by Senator Roberto Rocha four years ago as an effort to bring casino operations to integrated resorts and a number of qualifying sites across the country. As revealed at the time by the bill’s sponsor, the measure aimed at bringing legal casino gambling services only in conjunction with Brazilian tourist resorts, and more specifically, with properties that offered a bunch of services and amenities, such as high-end hotel accommodation, shopping centers, bars and restaurants, as well as so-called MICE (meeting, incentives, conferences, and exhibition) spaces.

At the time when he presented the legislative project, Senator Rocha highlighted how important it was for the country to enhance its tourism sector. He also noted that casinos are considered an entertainment option that already has great success in many countries and also play a significant part in the provision of strong financial support to local economies and attracting investments.

Former President Bolsonaro Blocked Gambling Expansion for Years

As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, the aforementioned casino expansion project was shelved during the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro. Now, the proposed piece of legislation is being revived, with the Regional Development and Tourism Committee at the Senate set to review the bill after appointing a spokesperson on the measure.

Casino gambling has been banned in Brazil since 1946. Since then, the legalization of casinos has been discussed several times, with the proposed liberalization of the country’s gambling sector having gained more strength due to the rising popularity of some online gambling platforms in the country. In 2022, Brazil’s Senate unveiled plans to take into consideration another bill that sought to allow online gambling expansion but, eventually, that did not happen because of the very small difference in the election results between former President Bolsonaro and now-President Luiz Lula da Silva.

The former President has been known for being against gambling expansion but he is out of the picture, so analysts believe things could change in Brazil. Mr. Bosonaro, however, has recently shared an intention to challenge his successor in the presidency every time he could.

Such a move could mean that the ex-President of the country may try to block a number of legislative initiatives that are currently underway, including the one associated with the expansion of casino gambling in Brazil. Currently, the country is closer than it has ever been to giving the green light to legal sports betting operators and online casinos, both of which were previously blocked under Mr. Bolsonaro’s presidency.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.