Gambling Legislation

Brazil President Lula da Silva ready to sign off on casino bill

Brazil President Lula da Silva ready to sign off on casino bill

Legislation that will legalize casinos in Brazil already has the support of the country’s leader

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced on June 21 that he intends to sign legislation to approve legalized casinos and games of chance, such as bingo and jogo do bicho, in Brazil. However, he’s not convinced that the bill will “save the country” as far as tax revenue and job creation are concerned.

The President recently gave an interview to Rádio Meio Norte, stating that if Congress approved the bill, “there’s no reason not to sanction it.”

The legislation was passed through Senate committees and must be approved by the floor before being forwarded to the president’s desk. The lower house has also approved the new proposal.

The new law would permit casinos, leisure complexes and tourist areas, such as high-end hotels, bars, restaurants, and event venues. Each state will be permitted one casino, except São Paulo, which is allowed up to three. Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Amazonas, and Pará will be allowed up to two casinos depending on the territories’ population.

Gambling in Brazil has been illegal since 1946. Legislators opposed to the bill cite the rise in problem gambling, creating conditions favoring prostitution, organized crime, and drug use.

President Lula da Silva admitted that he is not an advocate for legal gambling but believes it should not be classified as criminal activity. “I don’t believe it when people say, ‘If there’s a casino, the poor will spend everything they have.’ The poor won’t go to the casino, the poor will work in the casino, they might even see their town develop, but they won’t go because the casino is something for people who have money,” he added.

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