'Opinião do Globo': Liberation of gambling would be 'a more sensible decision' for the country

Recently, the president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL) formed a working group to assess PL442/91, aiming at the creation of the Regulatory Framework for Gambling in the country. The intention is to modernize the text, approved by a special commission five years ago, but without ever having been taken to the plenary.

Lira’s objective is to submit this project to the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies by November. However, this issue generates a lot of controversy with the religious benches. Remembering that gambling was banned in the country in 1946 during the government of Eurico Gaspar Dutra.

Since then, the segment has gained supporters and has returned to being current in recent years. Now, the resumption of casinos, bingos and other modalities appears as an alternative to minimize the effects of the crisis and boost the national economy.

This Monday, the 18th, a text published in ‘Opinião do Globo’ was also in favor of legalizing the activity, pointing out that this would be the ‘most sensible’ way out for the country. Check out the full story below!

Legalizing gambling would be a wiser decision

Last month, the president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), created a working group to analyze PL442/91, which establishes the Regulatory Framework for Gambling in Brazil. The objective is to update the proposal, approved by a special commission five years ago, without having gone to plenary until today. The delay is not casual, but the result of pressure from religious benches. The simple formation of the working group arouses passionate reactions on a subject that needs to be faced with rationality, especially in the case of a secular state.

Gambling was banned in Brazil on April 30, 1946, during the government of Eurico Gaspar Dutra. The justifications given at the time suggest that the decision was taken more for religious, ideological and customary reasons than for rational reasons. In seven and a half decades, games have never left the scene, just hidden behind the curtains.

Does anyone really believe that there is no gambling in Brazil? All you have to do is walk down the streets of Rio to come across pointers from the Jogo do Biccho, nor do they ceremoniously air their points in the vicinity of police stations. Clandestine roulette wheels spin like never before. Slot machines make the ad outlaws. And the digital advance allows bets to be placed from anywhere, including Brazil, far from the State’s reach — and without paying taxes.

In an article in GLOBO, deputies João Bacelar (Podemos-BA) and Felipe Carreras (PSB-PE), who are part of the Chamber’s working group, claim that illegal gambling in Brazil moves more than R$27 billion a year, surpassing in almost 60% the officers, who generate R$ 17.1 billion. “The debate is essential to mature and create legislation that allows citizens to exercise their desire to play, but under the watchful eyes of the State, with clearly defined rules that are effectively applied” say the lawmakers.

Opinião do Globo points out that allowing gambling in the country would be 'a more sensible decision'

According to data presented at the hearings in the Chamber, the legalization of gambling could generate around 200 thousand new jobs and formalize another 450,000, not negligible numbers in a fragile economy. It is estimated that around R$22 billion would be collected per year in taxes and R$7 billion in casino grants. Not to mention that the regulation would have a great impact on tourism, a sector around the world devastated by the pandemic.

In the United States, where there are more than a thousand casinos spread across 40 states, the industry generates 1.7 million jobs and concentrates a colossal US$240 billion business. In addition to the US, countries such as China, India, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, the UK, Canada and Australia have legalized the games and keep them under state supervision.

It is a fact that, in Brazil, despite being prohibited, the gambling runs free. Sites hosted outside the country offer bets to anyone, including Brazilians. Therefore, the best thing is to regulate the sector, so that there is strict control. There are successful models, such as casinos located in selected locations, coupled with resorts, to encourage tourism, as in Singapore.

Part of the taxes collected from the activity could be earmarked for combating addiction and illegal gambling — today there is no lack of technology to supervise it — and for awareness campaigns. It would be wiser to legalize gambling and tourism-oriented projects than to continue betting on hypocrisy, pretending that gambling does not exist.