Brazil One Step Closer to Regulating Casinos

Brazil to regulate casinos

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Last Updated: May 18, 2022


Brazil One Step Closer to Regulating Casinos

Brazil is considering reopening casinos and the gambling market after nearly eighty years. A bill was passed by the House of Representatives in February. President Bolsonaro seems opposed but does not have the last word on the matter.

Last February, a step was taken towards the legalization of casinos in Brazil. On February 23, a bill was approved by the House of Representatives in Brazil. The result of the vote was 246 votes in favor and 202 against, the website previously reported

The new bill is to replace a law in effect since 1946 that bans gambling in Brazil. At the moment you can be jailed for up to one year if you break the law. Poker is currently allowed in Brazil.

Casinos Only Allowed When Part of Resort

Casinos, when the law is passed, can start in any of Brazil’s 26 states, in the form of integrated resorts. However, the resort must contain at least 100 high-quality hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, and shopping centers.

The number of casino licenses depends on the number of residents per state:

Number of Residents in the State Number of Permits
Less than 15 million 1
Between 15 million and 25 million 2
More than 25 million 3

Under the draft law, the state of São Paulo is allowed to have up to three casinos. Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and Bahia are allowed to have up to two casinos each.

All other states could have one integrated resort each. This has to do with the number of inhabitants of the different states.

The casino licenses are made available through a tender procedure. The license will go to the highest bidder.

Online casinos can also get licenses, but they will have their servers located in Brazil. Foreign websites without a license will be blocked.

The costs depend on each permit and are in addition to taxes:

Type of License Cost per Quarter In USD
Bingo R$ 20.000 $3,981,09
Casino R$ 600.000 $119,432,69
Online Casino R$ 600.000 $119,432,69

President Opposes Legalization of Casinos

After the general approval, the bill will still go to the Senate where the senators can express their support or disapproval.

While still being discussed in the House of Representatives and later in the Senate, gambling remains banned in Brazil.

Brazil’s current president, Jair Bolsonaro, strongly opposes legalizing gambling. In 2021 he indicated that he still vetoed the new gambling law. He then said the following:

‘’Gambling represents loss, not profit. If the ordinance happens to be passed, I have a chance to veto it. Congress can override the veto, but what’s being discussed now will eventually lead me to veto it. Period.”

Bolsonaro believes that casinos will not solve Brazil’s economic problems, because the benefits do not outweigh the social disadvantages.

Bolsonaro against gambling regulation

But despite President Bolsonaro being the top government official in Brazil, Congress can undermine his authority.

In that scenario, the majority of the vote of lawmakers is needed to overturn the presidential veto. Only then will the bill actually become law.

SJM Shows Interest in Brazilian Market

SJM Holdings, owner of, among others, The Grand Lisboa Palace in Macau, is one of the parties this week that has expressed an interest in investing in the Brazilian land-based gambling market once it is legalized.

When the annual figures were announced, any plans for Brazil did not come forward.

Before his death, Las Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson showed interest in the Brazilian gambling market and lobbied for regulation.

Brazil to get land-based casinos

Today, Las Vegas Sands mainly focuses on the Asian market and has sold the casinos The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas.

In announcing the latest figures, Las Vegas Sands CEO Rob Goldstein hinted at a new casino in Thailand. Not a word was said about Brazil so far.

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