Magnho José, president of the Institute of Legal Gambling

"Jair Bolsonaro is on the wrong side on the issue of gambling legalization"

Magnho José, president of the Brazilian Institute of Legal Gambling (IJL).
Reading time 2:33 min
In an analysis column published by the Brazilian website BNLData, Magnho José, president of the Institute of Legal Gambling (IJL), assured that President Bolsonaro is betting on the evangelical sector, but that he is wrong in believing that keeping gambling illegal is a better option for the Government than legalizing the sector. Below we share said column with our readers.

The interview with President Jair Bolsonaro in the magazine Veja, in which he assures that the legalization of gambling will not have the support of the Government to be approved in Congress, and that in case of approval, he will veto the proposal; in addition to considering that through legalization there will be "more to lose than to gain at this time," caused a negative impact among the parliamentarians of the Working Group (GT, for its initials in Portuguese) which was created by the president of the Chamber of Deputies, to update the bill that legalizes casinos, gambling, bingo, slot machines, and online gambling.

The group's coordinator, Deputy João Carlos Bacelar in a comment to BNLData said that the opinion of the President is wrong and that it is the State that loses the most if unregulated gambling continues.

“The opinion of President Jair Bolsonaro on gambling is completely wrong and his values are inverted. The State is the one who loses the most, by keeping the game illegal and by not collecting the billions of reais that this activity currently moves. The Brazilian citizen also loses, because he does not have the protection of the State. Investments, collection of new taxes, and thousands of jobs are obvious arguments, but the real challenge for the Legislative department at this time is the creation and establishment of laws and regulations that allow citizens to exercise their desire to play under the watchful eye of clearly defined rules defined by the State and the effective application of said rules”, he said.

The congressman was also concerned with the approach to the issue from a religious perspective and the insistence they maintain, even if it is involuntary, regarding the "prohibited industry."

"Approaching the issue from the perspective of 'customs', just to please his own evangelical beliefs, places the President, albeit inadvertently, on the side of whoever gains the most from illegal gambling," he said.

Bolsonaro is on the side of his evangelical electorate

The inaction and omission of the State to legalize and regulate this sector has generated a strong increase in unregulated gambling in recent years. Brazilians are not prohibited from gambling, but Brazil is prohibited from raising funds from the game and controlling this activity.

As a matter of fact, religious people should leave the lobby to keep gambling underground and understand that legalization would be the best solution. It is a mistake to believe that gambling in Brazil will begin to work with the creation of a regulatory framework for this sector.

The president's statement helped remove the focus from Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, after the Covid Parliamentary Investigation Commission (CPI for its initials in Portuguese) linked that the institutional director of Precisa Medicamentos, Danilo Trento, would have participated in the Brazilian delegation formed by Senators Flávio Bolsonaro and Irajá, by the deputy Hélio Lopes and by the former president of Embratur and Minister of Tourism, Gilson Machado.

The delegation held institutional meetings with Carnival Group and Royal Caribbean International, in Miami, and with the President and CEO of the Las Vegas Sand Corporation, Sheldon Adelson, in Las Vegas. President Jair Bolsonaro's statement serves to satisfy part of his electorate. "He stood on the side of his electorate with the following speech, 'I'm fine with the evangelicals and the Parliament decides,'" commented one operator. The United States, with an evangelical (48.5%) and Catholic (22.7%) tradition, legalized and accepted gambling in its legal system, because it realized that there was a demand for “someone” to provide this service.

Leave your comment:
Subscribe to our newsletter
Enter your email to receive the latest news