Brazil Senate Rekindles Discussion on Expanding Gambling Industry

The Brazilian Senate is exploring the potential of legalizing extended forms of gambling in the country. There are several initiatives underway, and lawmakers are reviving a plan that could lead to more casinos appearing throughout the nation.

At the end of March, the Senate approved the reintroduction of PL 2.648/2019, a bill that would legalize casinos at integrated tourist resorts. The initiative had previously been put forward by Senator Roberto Rocha, and it proposed allowing such gambling venues only in conjunction with high-end hotel accommodation, restaurants, bars, shopping centers, and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibition) spaces.

Rocha had highlighted the potential to boost tourism and stimulate the economy through direct and indirect spending, as well as investments, if the bill was passed. However, it was shelved during former President Jair Bolsonaro’s tenure, and now, it is being re-examined in the Regional Development and Tourism Committee of the Senate.

Gambling has been prohibited in Brazil since 1946, and in recent years, debate has been revitalized due to the popularity of online gaming sites. Last year, the Senate was going to consider a different bill that would permit expanded online gaming, but it was not successful, mainly due to the tight race between Bolsonaro and current President Luiz Lula da Silva.

Now that Bolsonaro is no longer in power, there is more hope for the regulation of sportsbooks and online casinos, both of which were blocked during his rule. Nevertheless, the legislation must still go through further processes before it can be adopted.