Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, who is also a candidate for reelection in the second round against former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said that Brazil “is not mature enough” to debate the legalization of the gambling market, since the issue would cause “a problem” in his opinion, and stressed that he will veto its legalization if it is approved by the National Congress.
“Slot machines, in my opinion, cannot be (legalized). A person goes to the bakery to buy bread and comes back empty-handed because he gambled his money in the slot machine (…) I believe Brazil is not yet mature enough to discuss this issue”, he stated during his campaign.
“Congress is already discussing it. What have I said? Because of the way this issue is being handled, I will veto it. By vetoing it, the matter goes back to Parliament. If Parliament overrides my veto, it will become law. Parliament already knows my position, I will veto this gambling proposal that is being discussed,” he added.
The statement was made in an interview with a podcast presented by sports channels Paparazzo RubroNegro, InstaVerde, and Futbolaço, early Friday morning, October 14.
The bill legalizing gambling, which includes the regulated operation of casinos, bingos, jogo do bicho and sports betting, was approved by the Chamber of Deputies in February this year, after 31 years of processing. The approved text grants permanent or temporary licenses for the operation of the activity and allows each state to have one casino, with the exception of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, which may have two, and São Paulo, three.
The Federal Senate still has to analyze the bill before it reaches the presidential sanction, when the President may veto the bill, as previously mentioned.
Bolsonaro considers sports betting to be a separate matter in the regulation of gambling. The current president avoided confirming a deadline for the regulation of sports betting and gave no details about the rules to be implemented.
The main issue today, according to Bolsonaro, is to define the destination of the funds collected. In the same interview with the podcast “Paparazzo Rubro-Negro”, the betting model was called “.bet”, in reference to the domains that a good part of the sites that operate betting use. “The .bet issue is well advanced in a decree to regulate its activity,” he stated.
When asked about the destination of the proceeds, the President said: “I do not want it to go to Treasury, I have plenty of money. The issue at this moment is where this money will go. If it will go to treat drug addicts, if it will go to Security, to Infrastructure? We are working on that, and whether a portion goes to the third, second, or first division of the soccer tournament. I believe that the first division can be left out (of this distribution)”. The President considered sports betting “a separate issue in the regulation of the so-called games of chance”.