Posted on: April 25, 2022, 06:23h. 

Last updated on: April 25, 2022, 04:49h.

Brazil lawmakers are still trying to figure out if legalized casinos deserve a place in the country. While they debate the issue, one particular state added a casino to its annual carnival, a tradition for which Brazil is famous.

Carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Participants in this year’s Carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The celebration included a casino for the first time, as the country considers the legalization of casinos and other forms of gambling. (Image: El Nuevo Herald)

Brazil is known for a lot of things. But perhaps its most well-known claim to fame worldwide is its carnival. At its roots, the annual event, complete with its colorful costumes and parades, is a celebration of Easter. However, it has morphed into much more.

COVID-19 forced the cancellation of most carnivals in Brazil and similar activities elsewhere. They’re back this year, and after two years of absence because of the pandemic, gambling was at the center of one of them.

This could be a hint of what’s to come.

Carnival Celebrates Casinos

Gambling and casinos are a big attraction around the world. Brazil was once a gambling hot spot, but that changed as the country’s leadership changed. Now, lawmakers are considering bringing them back.

The Sambadrome of Anhembí, a common location for large events in São Paulo, is wrapping up its Carnival in a few days but added a new feature this year. It offers a casino with gaming tables, roulette wheels, and various traditional casino elements.

This casino is part of the Brahma Bar’s activities. The locale is divided into three spaces: CBB, Varanda Premium, and a VIP Area. Entry ranges from $170 to $470, depending on the space. There is also a themed bar with Johnny Walker Black whiskey receiving prominence.

Our idea is to increase the entertainment experience of customers at Brahma Bar, allowing them to live disruptive moments of leisure and providing an immersion in the universe of casinos, which is still an experience little present in Brazil, in addition to opening the possibility of having fun winning prizes,” said Cairê Aoas, partner of Diverti and producer of the Brahma Bar event.

To comply with local regulations, the casino uses its own currency, the “camaroteco” token. Consumers can exchange these for products at the bar, and all players receive 20 camaroteco to use at the tables just for walking in.

Showcasing Casinos

Brahama Bar is also a business platform, with relationship areas incorporating booths and spaces to activate associated and special brands. The event expects to generate 300 direct jobs and bring together 50 collaborating companies. Liquor runs freely as well. Waiters and waitresses are serving around 60 thousand liters (126,802 pints) of beer by the time the event shuts down on April 30.

The Chamber of Deputies already approved a bill that would legalize gambling. That was in February of this year. It includes the addition of casinos, bingo parlors, and online options.

The chamber sent the Senate the proposal to regulate the taxation of operations and define permanent or fixed-term licenses. There, however, it remains without much movement.

It’s likely no coincidence that the Sambadrome of Anhembí showcased a casino this year. World Atlas data lists São Paulo as the largest city in Brazil (the fourth-largest city in the world), with over 22 million inhabitants.

It’s also Brazil’s financial center. The carnival casino was as much a form of marketing for the legalization of casinos as it was a form of entertainment.