Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has revealed in an interview with Veja that he has been in touch with government officials in regards to a proposed gambling legislation but warned that he will not allow the market to be regulated, according to a report shared by BNL Data.
As Bolsonaro admitted, “the measure will not count with the support of the Government to be approved in Congress. And if it moves forward, I will veto the proposal.”
These statements raised concerns among supporters of the Brazilian government who have lobbied for the regulation of the gambling sector , such as the Chief of Staff Ciro Nogueira.
Earlier this month, the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil Arthur Lira created a task force specialized in gambling legislation, for the disciplines of casinos, sports betting, bingo halls, online gambling, instant gaming and others.
Consequently, a regulatory proposal that was held back by the former Michel Temer government could regain momentum. Originally, the proposal was intended to obtain approval from the Deputies before 2022, but Bolsonaro highlighted that “at this time, this is my opinion about gambling.”
And added: “Right now, gambling represents loss rather than winnings. If, by any chance, the regulation is approved, I have the chance to veto it. The Congress can override the veto, but what is being discussed right now will end up with me vetoing it. Period.
These statements come after a public hearing in the Chamber of Deputies that took place last week, where the President of the Instituto do Jogo Legal (IJL) Magno José – also editor of BNL Data – started his speech by assuring that “gambling in Brazil exists and is rooted in our culture.
“In Brazil, as we do not have a legal gambling [framework], we also don’t have a public policy to deal with problem gambling, something that bookmakers don’t want to create. That’s why it’s so important to include the subject in the project that is being re-evaluated,” he said.
The expert also reported that the overall gambling industry in Brazil is worth around $13bn. On the other hand, unregulated gambling represents $5bn of the total and sports betting, not yet regulated despite being authorized, generates an approximate of $1.8bn.