Brazil’s gambling legalisation backed by Temer’s ministers

Two close councils to Michel Temer, the Minister of Tourism and the Government Secretary advocate for legalisation.

Brazil.- Henrique Eduardo Alves (Minister of Tourism) and Geddel Vieira Lima (Government Secretary) both member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) and close allies of the stand-in President are pushing for legalising gambling in the South American country.

Alves explained that the the proposal to legalise gambling would include bingo halls, casinos and a Brazilian lottery-based game called “jogo do bicho.” “The idea is to legalise all these games. At the moment this activity goes on illegally, under the radar, thus not generating any profits for the state,” said Alves adding that Temer is “sympathetic” to the idea, but he has not decided on a course of action since assuming Presidency last week.

The PMDB minister affirms that gambling legalisation would increase tourism and give Brazil’s economy a much needed boost as the state could benefit from up to R$20 billion (US$ 5.7 billion) per year. He claimed it would be as lucrative as the CPMF, Brazil’s famous tax on financial transactions, which raised billions of reais for the state until it was abolished in 2007.

Minister Geddel Vieira Lima, who will be responsible for the relations between the stand-in government and the Congress, declared he was in favour of the legalisation.

On the other hand, Brazil’s Public Prosecution is against the idea, concerned about the potential risks of increased levels of corruption and money-laundering.

Until this point, no consensus has been reached regarding the overall sums expected to be generated by legalising gambling.