The need for regulation is greater than ever and it’s not a case of if, but when, according to Nelson Marquezelli, federal deputy of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies. Marquezelli made the statement while speaking alongside Herculano Passos, federal deputy and president of the Mixed Parliament Front in Defence of Tourism at the Chamber during the opening day of the Brazilian Gaming Congress in Sao Paulo.

Addressing delegates, Marquezelli said: “The debate is very important because there is big hypocrisy in Brazil. We already have illegal casinos and 1,200 unofficial ‘houses’ that process gaming. It’s not if legislation will happen, but when. Gaming is already here – the important word is ‘legalise’. We need to modernise and legalise gaming in Brazil.”

Making an economic case for a legalised gaming environment, he argued that casinos would generate a significant number of jobs and create much needed economic movement in Brazil. “Tourism improves greatly when you have casinos,” he said. “They generate taxes and liquidity for government. The aim is to gather resources from those that can afford to play and redistribute them to other areas.”

Colleague Passos made a call for joined-up thinking in the debate on regulation, saying that as of next year, the government will need to implement a well-considered programme, adding that it will be hard to pass a bill that deals with gambling in a gradual manner. All forms of gaming will need to be addressed, as opposed to casino-only, he advised.

The two deputies expressed a parting of opinion, however, over the number of casinos that might be permitted per state. Marquezelli commented that he was an advocate of freedom for states to choose their own limit. “I think we can have three to five casinos per state,” he offered. “But the states need to make that decision.” Passos countered that the current plans for one casino per state rising to a limit of three dependent upon population was adequate. “Not all states will have one casino,” he said.