The Secretariat of Evaluation, Planning, Energy, and Lottery (SECAP) of the Brazilian Ministry of Economy, which is supervising the upcoming local gambling regulation, has introduced Waldir Eustáquio Marques Júnior as its new board member.
Marques Jr has recently fulfilled the role of advisor in the Special Secretariat for Productivity and Competitiveness, although he had been part of SECAP in the past as undersecretary, at the time Brazil was creating a sports betting regulation. He also has several years of experience in the lottery sector in the Ministry of Economy.
The new member of SECAP received the London Landmark Award at ICE London 2022 “for his incredible 15 years of service to the Brazilian industry,” where he has developed his career since 2007.
After the confirmation in the Official Gazette, Marques Jr will join the Secretariat headed by Sérgio Ricardo Calderini Rosa, who replaced Gustavo Guimarães earlier this year.
SECAP is one of the organizations involved in the sports betting regulation debate, and the expertise of Marques Jr. could help tip the scale in favor of an accelerated process that would finally open the Brazilian market.
Guimarães has even said during SBC Summit Latinoamérica 2021 that he was sure that Brazil could establish a legal framework before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, set to take place next December.
Despite his claims, President Jair Bolsonaro recently put the brakes on the decree that would regulate the sector, as he needs evangelical support in the upcoming elections in October, and the political party has repeatedly voiced its opposition.
The main opposition candidate, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is currently leading the polls and could even achieve over 50% of the votes, the needed percentage to prevail in the first round.
The delay happened after Bolsonaro held a meeting with conservative leader Marco Feliciano, which resulted in a longer wait for the regulation. Bolsonaro seeks to retain the vote of the evangelical sectors, and as a result, he reinforced his position against the gaming and betting sectors, among other agendas.
Feliciano also expressed his fear that the sports betting decree could lead to the legalization of other verticals in the future, and the President reassured that he would delay the sports betting bill in an evident attempt to maintain the support of the political party.