Brazil relaunches project on federal gambling laws

New Brazil RG body set on contributing international experience

The Senate of Brazil is set to debate further changes related to gambling, as a project is re-submitted to apply federal rules on land-based casinos, horseracing, and the sale of jogo do bicho (instant win games).

Brazil’s Senate Agency has confirmed that project 2,234/2022, which seeks to determine federal rules for land-based gambling activities, will be debated by the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ) of the Senate on 17 April.

As reported by SBCNoticias, “Bill (PL) 2.234/2022 was presented two years ago by the now former deputy Renato Vianna to authorise ‘among other modalities’, the legalisation of casinos and bingos, horseracing, and jogo do bicho.”

The project has been resubmitted by Senator Irajá Abreu as its new sponsor, who seeks to “transfer gambling to state control,” thus regulating activities “that are currently illegal misdemeanors.”

For land-based casinos, the project seeks to reverse the 1946 Decree Law of President Gaspar Dutra that banned casinos from operating in municipalities and districts.

The proposal permits the establishment of casinos in tourist hubs or integrated leisure complexes, with restrictions on the number of casinos: one per state and the Federal District; three in São Paulo; and two in Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Amazonas, and Pará.

Furthermore, gambling venues will also be allowed to operate on sea and river vessels, under specific rules where operators must demonstrate a minimum paid-up share capital of at least BRL 100 million to maintain licenses for 30 years.

Bingo halls would be regulated both in-person and online, with one establishment permitted per 700,000 inhabitants in each state. Bingo licenses would last for 25 years, renewable for the same period.

In addition, federal rules would be added for horseracing, which could be operated by racecourses accredited by the Ministry of Agriculture and be granted rights to service bingo games and gambling machines.

In wider developments, Brazil’s government progresses on its plans to launch a federal sports betting marketplace in 2024.

Last week, the Ministry of Finance published plans and a timetable to establish the regulatory policy of the Prizes and Betting Secretariat (SPA), the government agency that will serve as the regulatory authority of the betting market.

The SPA will be established via a ‘four-phase execution’, providing stakeholders with its specific ordinances related to crime prevention, licensing authorisations, security requirements, consumer protections, and safer gambling duties.