CCJ faz debate sobre legalização de cassinos
Imagem: Agência Senado / Saulo Cruz 

The Constitution and Justice Committee (CCJ) of the Senate resumes, this Wednesday (19), the analysis of the bill that authorizes the operation of bingos and casinos in Brazil.

The debate was supposed to take place last Wednesday (12), but due to several differences it was postponed this week. The president of the CCJ, Davi Alcolumbre, decided to leave the matter for a day when it was the only one on the agenda so that it could be discussed broadly among the senators.

The hearing is scheduled to start at 10am.

Proposals for casinos

The project, originating in the Chamber of Deputies, was presented in 1991. In the Senate, it has been in progress since 2022, without consensus for voting. The text allows the installation of casinos in:

  • Tourist hubs or integrated leisure complexes
  • Upscale hotels, restaurants, bars
  • Places for cultural events

So far, senators have presented 38 amendments to the matter. The proposed distribution is as follows:

  • Each state and the Federal District may have a casino
  • São Paulo could have up to three
  • Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Amazonas and Pará, which may have up to two each

Casinos on Ships

But casinos will be able to establish themselves not only in physical facilities. The PL also provides for the possibility on maritime vessels.

However, the limit is only 10 maritime vessels throughout the country and with at least 50 rooms. For vessels that navigate rivers, the quantity will depend on the length:

  • 1 casino for rivers with a length between 1,500 and 2,500 km
  • 2 casinos for rivers with a length between 2,500 and 3,500 km
  • 3 casinos for rivers with a length of more than 3,500 km

The most important thing is that these river casinos cannot be anchored in the same location for more than 30 days in a row. The primary condition for obtaining the license is that the casino must demonstrate a minimum share capital of R$100 million for its operation. The accreditation of these vessels will be valid for 30 years and can be renewed for the same period.

Economic and social impact

The most delicate point of the bill is precisely trying to convince that the social impact that the games will bring can be positive for Brazil.

According to some analyses, casinos can boost tourism and generate more than R$44 billion in investment and create more than 700,000 direct jobs.

Furthermore, the implementation of casinos is capable of doubling the number of foreign tourists in the country. “Each unit of the federation will have the opportunity to house at least one integrated resort, allowing tourist capital to spread evenly and fairly throughout the country,” said the project’s rapporteur, Senator Irajá.

“We need to be aware of all the positive impact of this proposal. But, above all, we will take a significant step towards the modernization and transparency of our gaming, fun and leisure system”, he added.

Deputies point out negative aspects of casinos

At the last CCJ meeting, senators against the proposal claimed that permission for casinos will not bring economic benefits to the country and will promote negative consequences.

“The World Health Organization itself considers ludopathy [addiction to gambling] an increasingly serious disease. Loss of jobs, loss of productivity, devastating the family, because the person begins to lose loved ones, they begin to suffer the impacts of addiction”, said senator Eduardo Girão (Novo-CE).

Therefore, opposing senators argue that Brazil is not prepared for this authorization. Thus, the biggest problem is the lack of control bodies to monitor casinos and bingos, the possible increase in crime and social problems.