n accordance with Paulo Azi’s proposed law, states with a population of up to 15 million would be authorized to build one casino in their territory; two casinos would be allowed in states with a population between 15 and 25 million and finally, those with a population any higher, could build up to three. If the bill is passed, the government would have to implement "internal procedures and policies to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing."
PL 530/2019 was introduced by the National Congress' lower house member for Salvador de Bahía and Brazilian Democrat Paulo Azi, at the meeting held by the Joint Parliamentary Front for Tourism, together with the Minister of Tourism, Marcelo Álvaro Antonio.
According to Azi, even recent president-elect Bolsonaro supports this bill, although during last year’s electoral campaign, he had expressed his view against gambling legalization: "This is unbelievable: Now I am supposedly legalizing casinos in Brazil. Me? No one could believe such nonsense! We know that if casinos were allowed here, they would be used as a money-laundering tool. Also, they would be detrimental to Brazilian homes, as many people give themselves away to gambling addiction, causing major family chaos," Bolsonaro had said at the time, through Facebook live streaming.
In spite of the strong influence of the religious members of the government, Paulo Azi believes Congress is more open to this debate. "The feeling that Brazil cannot do without this economic activity consolidated across the majority of the world is beginning to grow among Brazilian lawmakers. Casinos would attract huge investments, generating thousands of jobs and high tax revenue."
The lawmaker says their main objective is to boost tourism. The proposed law establishes that licenses could be granted for a renewable period of 30 years, and the number of licenses would depend on the states’ population. The bill also highlights that the government "must implement internal procedures and policies to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing." In 2014, Ciro Nogueira, another member of Brazil’s lower house, had put forward a gambling bill, but it was eventually thrown out.
Azi’s bill could be debated independently, through a longer process or incorporated to PL 442/91, together with 18 other proposals, which are pending for the whole Senate’s discussion.