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Brazil's casino regulation in the hands of the Evangelical bench

"Those who are against legalisation are in favour of illegal gambling, and illegal gambling does not pay taxes"

The regulatory framework for gambling in Brazil has been in process in the National Congress, however, the Brazilian legislative system requires that in order for a Law Project to be approved, there needs to be at least 257 votes in favor by the Brazilian Congress and 41 votes in favor by the Federal Senate. It is worth  emphasising that evangelical deputies occupy 200 benches in the Brazilian Congress. 

The Regulatory Law should have been voted by the Congress already, but the pandemic scenario in Brazil has affected the speed of the process as measurements applied to avoid the spread of Covid-19 combined with the electoral year are impeding the process from going ahead. 

bolsonaroThe president of Embratur (Brazilian National Tourist Board), Gilson Machado Neto, has affirmed that the authorisation for implementing Casinos and Integrated Resorts in Brazil depends only on a position from the evangelical bench, according to an interview conducted by Live do Tempo in an article published by Yogonet Gaming News. 

In a mission to introduce business models from abroad Casino operators have been evaluated by lawmakers, aiming to provide a better understanding about the industry and to demystify the concept the evangelical bench has about gambling. 

The deputy Newton Cardoso Jr., who is also president of the Tourism Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, has been greatly engaged in the Brazilian gambling regulatory aspects, and according to Machado Neto, the deputy has been organizing some trips to countries where Casinos and Integrated Resorts are regulated so the legislators, including the evangelicals, can understand better how operations and regulations are applied. However, these plans had to be postponed due to the pandemic in Brazil. 

According to Cardoso Jr., the legislators have already visited Casinos and Integrated Resorts in the United States and Portugal, however, in his view the best framework to apply for Brazil is  that of Singapore, where in his words: “It is a predominantly Muslim country, and the number of tourists have grown from five million to twenty-two million, since a single hotel complex was licensed.”, as reported by Yogonet Gaming News. 

Unfortunately, the legislators have to wait for Covid-19 protocols to be lifted and the boarders opened to continue with the regulatory process for Casinos and Integrated Resorts in Brazil. 

Machado Neto even stated that the deputy from Minas Gerais, Newton Cardoso Jr. (MDB), president of the Tourism Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, is planning to travel so that some legislators can get to know the world's casinos better. “There is an evangelist caucus that we must respect. Because the bench must know [how casinos work]. I think that the deputy Newton Cardoso Jr. is organising a mission with the evangelists so that they know them and, finally, we can put on the table the issue of the installation of casinos or hotel complexes integrated in the country, and approve or reject it, "he said. the president of Embratur. 

covid brazilIn dialogue with Apart, the deputy from Minas Gerais confirmed the intention, which was momentarily frustrated by the pandemic of the new coronavirus. The member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) affirmed that they planned to take the members of the commission that he chairs and the deputies who had doubts on the subject. 

"Our legislators must demystify the idea that the installation of hotel complexes and casinos implies attracting money laundering, prostitution, addictions, etc. It does not harm any segment of religious activity, it is good for the region in terms of investment , it generates employment and income and, in truth, it solves the most serious problem, because the game already exists. So, those who are against legalisation are in favor of illegal gambling. And illegal gambling does not pay taxes. We want that to change "the legislator explained. 

Newton Cardoso Jr. said that the deputies have already visited countries such as the United States and Portugal, but that the model adopted in Singapore is the best in terms of uses, customs and traditions. "It is a predominantly Muslim country, which saw the number of visitors grow from five million to twenty-two million after a single hotel complex was licensed," he said. 

Faced with the pandemic and the restriction imposed on Brazilians in the world, the legislator hopes to have the minimum conditions to put the plan into practice when the borders are reopened. 

The difficulty of contact between politicians and the electoral year affected the speed of voting on the regulatory framework for gambling in the country, which has been in the Chamber since 1991. Another stumbling block, according to the legislator, are the questions "merely ideological and of particular interest", but which, according to him, are legitimate and specific. 

In dialogue with Apart, the legislator said he had recently debated the issue with President Jair Bolsonaro, who would have stated that the issue of authorisation should be dealt with by the states instead of the National Congress, for that, both Chambers of said Congress should support the idea. 

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