After the approval by the Commission of Financial, Industrial and Commercial Development of the Chamber of Representatives of the casino legalization in Brazil, Yogonet.com talked in exclusive with Carlos Eduardo Canto, head of Febrabingo, to know his opinion on the matter.
Some days ago, the Commission of Financial Development of the Chamber of Representatives approved the legalization of casinos in Brazil, What is your opinion?
I think Brazil needs urgently a definite legislation for the sector, but projects 3489/2008 and 270/2003, which were approved in CDEIC, will have difficulty to continue in the Congress, because the project of the opening of bingos, machines and casinos is not popular among the government and legislators. I am sure that a specific project for bingos would have more approval conditions that the current one.
Will it have positive goals for the sector?
I think Brazilian businessmen would leave the project to open 1,000 bingo halls. There are no national groups operating with casinos, and this project considers the opening for foreign groups. From FEBRABINGO, we defend bingo halls and wish to strengthen our sector, as we did in all the occasions our image was intended to be denigrated.
We think that never in the history of this country there was such a rigorous investigation of all the groups of the federal, regional and local government. To conclude this licentiousness of the sector, we had a CPI of Bingos, where, in its final report, senator Garibaldi Alves Filho, its writer and current president of the Senate, suggest the regulation of PLS 359/2007. In a second stage, we could authorize casinos in Brazil.
Which will be, in your opinion, the next step of the government?
As I told you, the government and legislators are suspicious about approving gaming regulations in the country. We need to work in a reaching a consensus in the project, as PLS 359/2007, analyzed and approved by CPI. We need agility in the regulation by representatives.
If operation is limited to the North, North-East and Central-West of the country, What pros or cons would it bring?
Excellent question. We would never think that these operations would be limited to those regions. Brazil needs a gaming regulation, and the market needs time to show society our capacity of operation, because we need to learn; and Brazilian people know perfectly how to analyze an opportunity.
And giving legal guarantees, the government will surely allow businessmen to develop national control and operation systems, as it is performed in other sectors of our economy. For example, Caixa (Lottery) system and the financial system, today exported worldwide.
Which do you think will be the future situation after this?
The future is the bingo regulation in Brazil, but we need to do it in stages. First, to obtain the opening of bingo halls, then the operation of video lottery machines and finally, the tender of casinos. We are the only country in the world without a law that regulates this sector. Five years passed since us, as businessmen, told the government that our sector had to be regulated. Government and society have 1,000 million euros a year in taxes, and mainly 500,000 new direct and indirect employments. That’s why the government and the society have to destroy illegality, which just benefits illegal operators.
We do have to believe that, with the secure surveillance of entities of control, this resources and employments would bring a new source of incomes so the government may start national projects.
Governments that chose to legislate on the matter have gained a lot with the resources obtained, transforming them in social, cultural and sporting projects. There are countries that fight illegality, like Argentina, which used to have a shady legislation. Nowadays, the Argentine government decides where to allocate the income obtained and how to improve the gaming law. The sector is widely debated in chambers of the sector, associations, federations and trade unions of businessmen and employees.