A key lawmaker in Brazil has revealed that they believe legalizing gambling in the country could bring up to $3.5bn a year in tax. Sports betting in Brazil was legalized in 2018 but it has yet to be launched officially in the country. Many in the country are still pushing for casino gambling to be legalized as well.
Federal Deputy Herculano Passos is a key supporter of legalizing gambling in the country and was the one to put forward the numbers. He believes that the $3.5bn (R$20 billion) brought in in tax would be a huge boost for the Brazilian economy. They suggested that the tax rate for gambling should be set at around 30% to see these kinds of futures.
Passos pointed to the country’s R$100 billion fiscal deficit in 2020 and said that this would seriously help with that. They also said that it would bring in jobs to the country, saying around 650,000 could be created.
The Deputy believes that the legalization of betting would see thousands of workplaces open. This could include casinos, bingo halls, and sportsbooks. They also added that if Brazil introduces legalized resorts, then it would lead to an increase in business for the areas where these resorts were built.
In the interview, Passos also said that they believe it could help the country in other ways as well. The money from the taxes could be used to help fund healthcare and other cultural projects in the country. Brazil has a strong sporting history and the money could be used to help fund the future.
It has also been said that legalizing gambling in the country could help to reduce black market gambling share. With no legalized gambling in the country, many Brazilians will look at unregulated operators to place their bets.
Not everyone in Brazil is as excited about the prospect of legalizing gambling. Several attempts to launch legalized gambling in the country have been blocked in the past. Most notably, the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro has vetoed the laws.
Passos, however, believes that this can be overturned. They said that voting in the Chamber followed by the Senate could overturn the President’s block. For this to occur though, the bill would still have to pass through the Evangelical Caucus leaders.
The party has been opposed to gambling in the country, arguing that it leads to an increase in addiction. Passos is hoping that the numbers available and the country’s worsening economic situation could lead them to reconsider. They believe that Brazil has missed out on money for over 70 years as a result of not legalizing gambling.