Delays and Stagnation: Gambling Bill in Brazil Remains Unvoted

Lee R. - March 9, 2018

Getting a gambling bill passed in Brazil is beset by delays.

A hoped for gambling legislation vote was tabled by the Brazilian Senate.

Dropped from Agenda

The bill, which would allowed for multiple gaming and betting operations, was first on the agenda of the meeting of the Senate’s Constitution and Justice Commission, but was removed from the list due to the absence of many commission members.

Recent Trajectory

The bill has been under consideration going on four years now. Originally introduced as PLS 186/2014 in the year 2014, the issues on the bill have been debated to no small extent over the past four years, but no progress has been made on enacting any of the legislation. 

The Potential

A key economic boost would come from allowing gaming across a wide range of enhanced land-based enterprises, among them integrated resorts, online casino and betting services, bingo halls, local game jogo do bicho, and a number of other gaming and betting options.

At this juncture, reports have Brazil losing out on over R$18 billion (approximately $5.4 Billion), in wagering, and the benefits to be had from an effective regulation model, which could bring tax benefits to the Brazilian government and citizenry if effectively diverted.  


The situation remains hit and miss, with the prevailing precedent of miss set last mid December, when a meeting of the Members of the Constitution and Justice Commission failed to reach the gambling vote scheduled on the agenda before adjourning.

The next opportunity for a gambling vote on the horizon is two weeks away, when the Constitution and Justice Commission will meet again.

Private Interest

There are no shortage of private suitors for the Brazilian market either. In 2017, Las Vegas Sands proffered a massive $8-billion integrated resort project pitch to Brazilian lawmakers, while Caesars Entertainment expressed clear interest in expansion into Brazil.

Las Vegas Sands Senior Vice President of Government Relations Andy Abboud went so far as to recommend a limited IR model, saying that similar models were successfully introduced in Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore, where casino gaming floors are part of larger complexes, with gaming just one option among the diversions. 


However, none of that matters as long as Brazil continues to show staunch opposition to PLS 186/2014. With strong opposing elements continually contesting, de-prioritizing and fillibusting the gambling vote, the progress in Brazil appears to be stalled for the time being, which shouldn’t come as a surprise in a country that has not legalized gambling.

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