Deputy Bacelar to Push for Gambling Regulation in Brazil

The newly elected president of the Tourism Commission delivered a speech in favor of the legalization of Brazil’s gambling and betting industry before the Chamber of Deputies, and insisted on reopening the debate this year.

Bacelar to Focus on Three Points During His One-Year Term

On March 12, João Carlos Bacelar was appointed president of the Tourism Commission of the Chamber of Deputies for a one-year term. He pointed out three key priorities during his term as a president – the approval of the Regulatory Framework for Gambling in Brazil, the resumption of tourism in the country, as well as transforming the commission into a large tourist body able to rebuild the bases of Brazilian tourism in the post-pandemic period.

“Tourism in Brazil had losses of R$290 billion in the pandemic, and 397 thousand jobs were closed. Today, it has only 42% of the revenues it had and it also needs help in the very short term.”

Carlos Bacelar has been a vocal supporter of gambling regulation for years. His position is now shared by the new Minister of Tourism, Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, who hopes to reactivate the economy of the country during the pandemic with the launch of casino resorts.

Gambling Could Substitute Big Events As a Source of Revenue

The new head of the Tourism Commission said in his speech that gambling exists in either legal or illegal forms. He also expressed his discontent that a government that presents itself as liberal decides what people can do in their spare time. 

Bacelar presented financial reports that estimate that Brazil could collect R$20 billion (about US$3.5 billion) in annual taxes and that some 400,000 jobs would be created if gambling is regulated. The country is on the way to legalizing sports betting, as a new regulatory framework is expected to enter in force in July.

Bacelar insisted that the Chamber of Deputies resume the debate related to House Bill No. 442/1991, which awaits a vote in the Plenary. Under this proposal, video bingo, slots, the lottery-type animal game, and casinos would be regulated. In addition, a national gambling authority would be created to supervise, control and regulate the industry.

According to Bacelar, the betting market has a higher potential than casino resorts that would need three or four years before becoming beneficial to the public coffers. Bacelar says that electronic games and online betting might be a substitute for the lack of large events during the pandemic. The new president adds that the current law forces the gambling industry to act in an unregulated manner, which could be avoided with the adoption of a new law.

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