Brazil sees great benefits for tourism in the legalization of casinos

Casinos have been banned in Brazil for many decades and gambling is generally considered morally reprehensible. Recently, however, the "old order" has been changing (once again). Sports betting has been officially permitted since 2018 under certain conditions. Online casinos are a legal grey area. A draft law has been submitted to legalize land-based casinos. It is expected that the approval of such offers will bring significant benefits for tourism.

Brazil sees great benefits for tourism in the legalization of casinos

Brazil, the largest country in South America, has a complex, restrictive relationship with gambling and casinos. Such services were largely banned in 1946 by a law signed by President Eurico Gaspar Dutra. This decision was made in particular due to concerns about public morality and the potential negative social impact. Since then, operating casinos and participating in gambling has been largely illegal, with the exception of some regulated lotteries and sports betting.

However, in recent years there has been a notable shift in public and political opinion on the issue. The Brazilian government is looking for new ways to stimulate the economy, create jobs and attract international investment. The fight against the financial crisis that has been ongoing since 2014 is still in full swing. In this context, the legalization of casinos is seen as a promising option. Proponents argue that regulated casinos could not only generate significant tax revenues, but would also increase tourism.

Gambling legalization in Brazil

The discussion about the legalization of casinos has gained momentum at both the regional and national levels. Various arguments, debates and drafts for approval have been brought to parliament, with recent developments indicating increasing acceptance and support. The Brazilian Congress is reviewing Bill 2.234/2022 (which has been around for several years) and is therefore intensively discussing the potential benefits, risks and the regulatory measures required.

This paradigm shift towards the possible legalization of casinos could, according to press reports and official government statements, contribute greatly to an economic recovery. One strategy is to position the country as an even more attractive travel destination. With its diverse cultural attractions, stunning landscapes and vibrant metropolises, Brazil has the potential to take a leading role in the global tourism sector. The legalization of casinos could be an important catalyst to fully exploit these opportunities, further develop the tourism infrastructure and ultimately generate revenue on numerous levels.

Tourists should get what they want through bill 2.234/2022

Tourism experts as well as individual politicians assume that the legalization of casinos would massively boost the Brazilian travel industry. Supporters have no doubt that a large proportion of the country’s visitors are looking for appropriate entertainment. They see a lot of potential, especially in larger resorts that include casinos.

The bill 2.234/2022, which is currently under review, deals, among other things, with the establishment of gaming venues in such holiday resorts. These must therefore be of a certain size. The bill also regulates distribution across the federal states. In addition to land-based casinos, online casinos, bingo halls and Jogo do Bicho (a traditional Brazilian game of chance) could also be regulated.

The bill provides for a licensing system in which gambling providers must obtain permits from the Brazilian government. The concessions are awarded under certain conditions and for set periods of time. Taxation of gambling activities is also included. Part of the tax revenue is to be used for various areas of public welfare – in particular education and health, the promotion of sport, and security and surveillance. An important aspect of the bill is the social responsibility of gambling operators. Operators must provide programs to prevent and treat gambling addiction and ensure that minors do not have access. It also calls for the establishment of a national regulatory authority responsible for monitoring and enforcing the regulations.

Las Vegas and Macau as role models

Several Brazilian politicians argue that the ban by no means excludes gambling in their country. In fact, thousands or even millions of reais are still being wagered through illegal lotteries, dice and other games. The state and public coffers do not see a cent of this.

This is different in many parts of the world – the examples of Las Vegas and Macau are particularly highlighted here. In these gambling metropolises, the positive aspects of legal casinos outweigh the risks. The cities could more than make a good living from the revenue. In doing so, they would ensure a safe environment and successfully control or even suppress illegal offers.

These are the advantages that supporters of bill 2.234/2022 see in legalizing casinos

Of course, legalizing casinos in Brazil would first of all mean an immense increase in tax revenue. In fact, some advocates do not see this development as the main advantage. According to these experts and politicians, the sector that will benefit the most is tourism. It can be assumed that in the long term the travel industry may even promise more revenue than would be generated by direct taxes.

Celso Sabino, the Brazilian Minister of Tourism, said the following at a committee hearing:

“The most important thing about this measure is not only the revenue, but also the economic and social development that tourism will bring with it through the establishment of resorts with integrated casinos.”

With the right strategy, players with high purchasing power, who often like to vacation in places where there are casinos, could be a significant plus for tourism. The additional benefit of this is that an increased number of travelers would also boost sales of local companies and ultimately the economy of the entire country. Many direct jobs could be created in the tourism industry as well as indirect jobs around it. All of this would bring many opportunities to support the country on its way out of the financial crisis.

Excursus: What is the legal situation in Brazil regarding sports betting and the Best online casinos?

Is sports betting legal in Brazil?

The short answer is: yes. They are subject to certain legal frameworks and regulations around ensuring player protection measures, transparency and fairness – similar to those known in European countries.
The path to legalizing sports betting was also marked by numerous discussions and changes to the law at the time. In December 2018, then-President Michel Temer finally signed a legal basis that legalized fixed-odds sports betting. The provisions, known as “Law 13.756/18”, created the legal basis for regulating sports betting both online and offline.

Conclusion

Brazil’s path to legalizing (online) casinos and other gambling seems to be a “never-ending story.” Proponents regularly put forward new arguments – as they do now with regard to the clear benefits for tourism. However, it would not be surprising if there were soon dissenting voices questioning the usefulness of this. As early as spring 2022, it seemed as if it would not be long before slot machines, bingo, etc. could be used legally on Sugarloaf Mountain. But more than two years later, the debate is still ongoing.

About Kevin Rendel 113 Articles
I'm Kevin Rendel and I'm testing online casinos for you. As a journalist and gambler I have been working in the iGaming sector for many years. Before that I published books and produced content for websites. At Casinova.org I am responsible for the English and German language content of the casino guide. In the online casino I know exactly what is important. I do not hesitate to call myself a real expert and I assure you, gamblers can rely on me and my experience!

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