Brazil Casino Bill Hits the Wall Once Again - Third Time in Three Weeks

Ivan P. - December 15, 2017

The latest session of the Brazilian Senate’s Constitution and Justice Commission was unexpectedly cut short, postponing the vote on the casino bill once again.

Once again, the long-anticipated vote on casino bill has been postponed in Brazil. On Wednesday, members of the country's Senate’s Constitution and Justice Commission were supposed to vote on the PLS 186/2014 bill, but these plans were never realized as lawmakers were called upon to urgently join a Congress plenary session.

Three Years in a Limbo

This year, PLS 186/2014 has entered its third year of existence without any significant progress made towards actually enacting the bill. Penned by Senator Ciro Nogueira, the legislative proposal calls for some major changes in Brazilian gambling laws, which haven't changed for more than 70 years. The current climate is very restrictive and gambling is largely prohibited in the country, save for a few exceptions.

The proposed bill would change all this, allowing for the establishment of land-based casinos and bingo parlors, and regulating online sports betting. However, it seems lawmakers aren't in a rush to actually pass the bill as this was the third week in a row that the vote failed to take place. There is a slim chance still that the December 20 session will finally address the proposal, but it is very likely this session won't take place at all and the casino bill will be postponed for 2018.

Taxation and Licensing

Apart from legalizing brick and mortar casino venues and bingo parlors, the bill also addresses important issues of taxation and licensing. According to Sen. Nogueira's proposal, land based casinos would be taxed at 10%, while online operators would pay 20% on their yearly GGR. This is a reduction in comparison to the original idea of the flat 30% tax rate across the board. Gaming licenses would be issued for the period of 30 years for casinos and 20 years for bingo parlors, with a possibility of a renewal.

From the first moment the country announced their plans to change their gambling laws, a number of major companies started testing waters. As things stand right now, Las Vegas Sands and  Caesars Entertainment are most likely to obtain first licenses and open gambling venues in Brazil once the bill is finally passed.



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