Legalized gambling has taken another significant step in the South American hub of Brazil.
Deputies Approve Plan
Brazil´s Chamber of Deputies approved a plan for authorizing full-scale resort casinos as well as video lottery and jogos do bicho games.
After a year of review in the fiscally embattled lower chamber of Congress of Brazil, the approval assents to the introduction of up to 34 new resort casinos, with the possibility of even more via exemption for the state of Minas Gerais.
The Next Step
A floor vote is the next step in the process of Brazilian ratification that would end a 70 year prohibition on gambling. The special commission´s chairman Deputy Elmer Nascimento is said to be seeking said floor vote before week´s end.
The new full-service gaming facilities would be equipped with slots machines, table games, hotels, bars, restaurants and entertainment services.
The goal is to increase tourism, which is further hoped would generate tax revenues and stimulate the failing economy of the cash-strapped Brazilian government.
The legislation has three main requirements for applying operators: previous experience with integrated resorts; strong financial standing; and positive reputations that would be maintained in the areas in which they operate. Federal operator licenses would last 30 years.
Individual casinos would be divided on a one on one basis among each state and federal district in Brazil, with more populous states such as Sao Paulo eligible for up to three. The aforementioned exemption of second-most populous state Minas Gerais would allow for the reopening of all casinos that operated in the state prior to the federal ban in 1946.
The bill would expand existing play through bingohalls, video lottery terminals and the country´s trademark famous jogo do bicho games, all of which are widely played illegally already in predominantly urban areas among the lower income classes.
Remaining Political Hurdles
This latest step forward comes after a summer setback in the Senate when a coalition of state-owned banks, police and civil groups objected over money laundering concerns in a notiously corrupt political system. These barriers remain a factor, and will undoubtedly have to be taken into account for a comprehensive, and passable, regulation model.