Vote on Brazilian casino legalisation still possible despite elections

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Rodrigo Maia the president of the Chamber of Deputies has affirmed that Brazil’s National Congress will vote on gaming legislation in the first half of this year.

Maia stated that the two houses are now working together on a “compromise text”, which seeks to integrate gaming activity into the tourism and entertainment industry.

“I think there’s a majority,” he added.

The issue was discussed during Maia’s meeting with members of the Brazil-US Chamber of Commerce in Washington in mid-January.

Maia reported there are three lobbies working in Congress, advocating bingo halls, gaming machines outside of casinos, and the legalisation of casinos in order to attract investment to the tourism sector, respectively. The lawmaker confirmed that he was in favour of the third option.

“Our interest is that gaming generates investments in the tourism and entertainment sectors,” he explained.

However, with scant progress towards the legalisation of gaming last year, it appears that the prospects that new legislation could be passed in 2018 are far from certain.

Commentators have suggested that given 2018 is an election year in Brazil, and with the reduction of sessions for electoral campaigning, together with the fact that the legalisation of gaming is a political hot potato, it’s possible that there may not be much movement on the issue before October.

“Gaming is going to be legalised in Brazil, we do not have the exact date, but we can move forward, we are close,” said Magnho José, president of the Brazilian Institute of Legal Gaming (IJL).

“While the gaming bills were in the process of being drawn up, Brazil was visited by several international casino operators. On several occasions they made promises of investments in the event that gaming was legalised.”

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