Brazilian Federal Official Says 2022 Is the Year for Casino Gaming
One lawmaker in Brazil says 2022 will be the year that commercial casinos will be legalized in the country.
For many years, lawmakers in Brazil have debated whether or not commercial casino gaming should be approved. Federal Deputy Herculano Passos says that now is the time to see legislation move forward. The lawmaker represents San Paulo and feels that the country would be able to benefit economically from resort casinos.
Passos recently spoke with Poder360 stating that the current deficit of the country is $18 million. This amount would be improved if casino gambling was allowed. Taxes could go towards cutting down on the massive debt of the country.
The lawmaker feels that if major gambling companies were able to offer services in the country, thousands of jobs would be created. The industry would not only bring in money to the region but would also provide economic stability for employees.
While this could all be true, there is strong opposition against bringing casinos to the country. For decades, efforts have been made to bring casinos to the region. However, all have failed. Even Sands founder Sheldon Adelson promised to invest billions into the country via casino facilities was shot down.
Religious groups have continued to push lawmakers to vote against the legalization of casinos in Brazil. For Passos, the fiscal benefits outweigh the concern that religious groups have regarding gambling. The lawmaker claims that Brazil is the only country that has Christianity as the predominant religion and casinos are banned.
Passos pointed out that the casinos bring in conventions and travelers to the integrated resorts, which in turn brings in more wealth for the local community.
President Bolsonaro is Not on Board
On top of the nonsupport from religious groups, President Jair Bolsonaro is also seemingly against the legalization of integrated resorts. The country’s president said in the past that he would veto any bill that reaches his office connected to gambling legalization. Not long ago, the president commented that gambling represents loss instead of winning, something that Passos does not agree with.
The lawmaker feels that the National Congress could override the veto and allow legislation to move forward. Passos feels that support will come once other lawmakers see the fiscal benefits from the integrated resorts. With a 30% tax on gross gaming earnings, the country would receive around $3.5 billion each year.
It is unclear as of yet if there is enough support to see the effort move forward this year. However, the country has legalized sports betting in 2018, so there is some support for gaming. The sports betting industry was approved by the Michael Temer administration.
It is expected that the first sportsbooks will launch in the next few months. There has been a delay because the country decided to hold a federal study first to ensure the best regulatory practices are followed. Lawmakers were very careful in curating the final rules for the industry.
If casino legislation is able to move forward in 2022, it would not be surprising to find the process taking quite some time to complete, as lawmakers go slow with the process as they did sports betting. There are of course positives and negatives that come with a commercialized casino industry in Brazil, so lawmakers will have to weigh the options and decide which is the best route to take for Brazil to be successful.
Will religious groups or the president stand in the way of legislation moving forward? Or perhaps all the right pieces are in place to push the effort forward?