Former advisor of the Ministry of Finance

José Manssur: "The main difficulty for the regulatory process in Brazil was to regain the sector's confidence"

Reading time 2:39 min

José Francisco Manssur, former advisor of the Brazilian Ministry of Finance and responsible for leading the regulation process of online betting and gaming in the Federal Government, was present at the inaugural edition of SBC Summit Rio, which ended yesterday in Rio de Janeiro.

The conference in which he participated had a large audience in one of the rooms of the Windsor Convention & Expo Center on Wednesday afternoon, March 6.

During his speech, Manssur spoke about the work done in terms of regulation and what to expect for the future of the sector. "Brazil is the place where most people access gambling sites. We have everything to make the Brazilian market an example for the world," said the former councilor.

"Trust in the Brazilian market because there is no reason to lose the momentum of that moment when we managed to regulate it," he added.

After the conference, Manssur was asked about his departure from the Government in February of this year, but he stated that he had nothing to add to the note issued by the Ministry of Finance at that time.

The situation, it should be recalled, generated a clash of versions. While the press cited alleged pressures from certain political parties, the official version of the Ministry of Finance is that Manssur's resignation was "at his own request." 

Manssur with Simone Vicentini (right), Under Secretary of the Department of Prizes and Gaming

In an interview with Yogonet during SBC Summit Rio, Manssur also commented on other points related to regulation and the gambling sector in Brazil. 

At SBC Summit Rio, you talked about regulation as something built together, with the participation of Congress, the Treasury, private companies, and civil society. What was the biggest difficulty you encountered in this process?

I think the greatest difficulty was to regain the confidence of the sector, which had all the reasons in the world to believe that nothing was going to be done because nothing had been done before. When we went to the meetings, there was an atmosphere of great distrust between the sector and the public agency, and between the public agency and the sector.

Over time, we have been breaking it. The sector showed that it is structured with companies that comply, with companies that even bring practices from outside Brazil, and the public power showed every day that we intended to do it [regulation].

So the biggest difficulty was to break that initial momentum, once we gained that confidence, things flowed much better.

There is a lot of talk about the government's alleged concern about a possible tax war between the states and the federal government, because some states, such as Paraná and Rio de Janeiro, are creating their own rules and taxes. As a specialist, do you think the market has reason to worry?

State gambling decisions are based on a Supreme Court ruling and this ruling, in my reading, is quite clear. States have the right to have their lotteries, but they have to comply with federal rules. And the most important federal standard is that the state must respect territoriality.

What does that mean? You will have the authorization to operate in the state, but the player will only be able to access your website if he is physically there with their phone?

If this is respected, it greatly reduces the risk of a fiscal war, and I believe that the government and the entities will work to enforce this rule. This is the golden rule. Once it is respected, all other issues are easier to resolve.

Some argue that the ideal structure for regulating gambling in Brazil would be an agency, in the same way that other sectors already have the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) or the National Electricity Agency (Aneel), for example, and not a secretariat. What is your opinion on this?

I think we should move towards an agency. Because of the regulatory framework, the agency can have a better structure, more resources, and is more shielded from the political process.

Leave your comment
Subscribe to our newsletter
Enter your email to receive the latest news
By entering your email address, you agree to Yogonet's Condiciones de uso and Privacy Policies. You understand Yogonet may use your address to send updates and marketing emails. Use the Unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time.