Brazilian Senate to Hold Public Hearings on Legal Casino Gambling

Proposed Brazilian gambling laws will be debated during public hearings in the Senate to see if casinos may be permitted in Amazon and Pantanal regions

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The Brazilian Senate Commission for Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJ) approved to hold public hearings on the merits of allowing casinos inside hotels in the Amazon and Pantanal Regions of the country.

The proposed Brazilian gambling laws, so far known only as Senate Law Project 30/11, were sponsored by Senators Mozarildo Cavalcanti (PTB-RR), Padro Taques (PDT-MT) and Jorge Viana (PT-AC) as a show of support from multiple political parties..

During the constitutionally required public hearings, a long list of various law enforcement organizations, civic groups, and government agencies are expected to vehemently condemn the idea of opening casinos.

So far The National Group to Combat Criminal Organizations (Grupo National de Combate as Organizacoes Criminosas) – (GNCOC) and the National Strategy for Precenting and Combating Money Laundering (Estrategia Nacional de Prevencao e Combate a Lavagem de Dinheiro) – (ENCLA), and the Ministry of Justice have come out swinging against the very thought of opening casinos which are seen as a home for criminal and money launderers.

The Tourism Minister, Pedro Novaes, view the idea of casinos in the Amazon much more favorably, along with the Brazilian Tourism and Finance Secretaries.

Environmental groups as well as organizations that protect the rights of indigenous tribes are horrified by the idea that drunken tourist, gamblers, drug dealers, money launderers and criminals of all varieties will be interacting with the child-like, simple and trusting local tribes.

On a positive note for the casino businesses, sociologists just discovered a tribe in the Amazon which has no concept of time, which is likely to make natives the most desired casino customers (right after drunk money-launderers).

Analysts view the current political climate in Brazil as unfavorable to legalization of any form of gambling or casinos. The Bingos Project, aimed at legalizing brick-and-mortar and online bingo games in Brazil, was rejected after a vote by the full Senate at the end of 2010.

Yet the fact that Senate Law Project 30/11 was introduced so quickly after the rejection of the bingo legislation shows the need to address this issue. The growing middle class, in searching for better entertainment options, has been putting pressure on Brazilian politicians to move forward with legalization of casino gambling.

Brazil is a 12-15 hour flight to Las Vegas and almost a 20 hour flight to Macau making both destinations an expensive and rare treat. Such distances and lack of alternatives force residents to gamble at foreign based online casinos in Brazil from the safety and convenience of their own homes.

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