The prospect of a legalized gambling industry in Brazil is one step closer to becoming a reality, as Renan Calheiros, the president of the Senate of Brazil, has officially announced a voting date for the new gambling legislation that was approved at the beginning of this month.

The voting is set on December 7th, right before the Christmas Recess, and it will be the first step in the official regulation of gambling in Brazil. The legislation in question is a modified version of the original draft made by Senator Noguiera back in 2014 and it came as a result of a series of talks that followed the initial proposal. If approved by the majority, the law will be moved to the Chamber of Deputies for official approval.

The new law is to legalize bingo halls, casinos and slot parlors but also the massively popular “Jogo Do Bicho” game, which despite official efforts to criminalize it is still widely enjoyed, albeit secretly, across the country. The proposed law also prescribes the licensing process, the prize distribution in gambling games, as well as the manner in which casinos are to be taxed and operated.

Per the law, casino operators will be applying for licenses at the Caixa Economica Federal, or CAIXA, who will be in charge of gambling regulation. The licenses will last for up to 25 years, depending on the purpose, and prospective operators would have to bid through the federal institution to get one. If the law is approved, casinos will be allowed to be hosted in new tourist resorts that will be built for that purpose or in already established jockey clubs.

The prospect of a legalized casino industry is already garnering attention from prospective investors, with the Brazilian Gaming Congress being the first to encourage discussions on what the future casino industry will bring. According to initial researches, the gambling industry is projected to bring R$ 59 billion (US$17.6 billion) in revenue to the South American nation.

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