Brazilian president opposes potential casino legalization

Despite being backed by a host of high ranking government officials, the move to legalize casinos within the Latin American country of Brazil has now been met with opposition from the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro

During an interview on SBT’s Programa do Ratinho, Bolsonaro stated that the authority to deal with such a proposal is “exclusively up to the executive branch” as he assured that his government won’t initiate discussions in regards to the legalization of casinos, due to fears that the move would serve as a catalyst for an increase in money laundering crime within the country.

Having previously hinted that casino resorts would be beneficial for Brazil, Bolsonaro’s sudden change in opinion has been speculated by analysts to have been caused by the evangelical sector, the main opponent of the legal gaming industry in Brazil, becoming the president’s biggest support system.

With this being said, the Bolsonaro’s opinion is not shared throughout his administration with members such as Rodrigo Maia, President of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, and Vice President, Hamilton Mourão, expressing support to the legalization of integrated resorts in tourist areas of Brazil. 

The news follows on from this week’s announcement that saw Rio de Janeiro’s state lottery, Loteria do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (LOTERJ), suspend its lottery services due to the expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic until March 28. 

Having been ordered by the Secretary of State for Economic Development, Energy and International Relations, the suspension to its services will see LOTERJ only run its lottery prizes payment service, however, users wishing to utilize this service will have had to previously schedule it via phone or email. 

Moreover, the suspension also sees a temporary end to instant lottery winning tickets, as well as all LOTERJ’s ongoing physical and virtual administrative deadlines that require physical processes.