The recently enacted Law No. 13,756/2018, which legalized sports betting in Brazil, inaugurated an effusive discussion among gaming market players about the advantages of starting to exploit this segment in our country, especially among the most optimistic, who believe in this measured as the initial Brazilian mark of the legalization of the other gaming modalities.
Although Law No. 13,756/2018 restricts regulation to sports betting in a virtual environment, the Brazilian government prioritized the search for new sources of revenue, to the detriment of the irrational conservatism that kept gaming in hiding for more than 70 years. The said Law therefore represents the harbinger of gaming legalization in physical establishments, such as bingos and casinos. And Brazil will only have to win!
According to the Congress, the legalization of gambling, especially of the casinos integrated to resorts, would generate more than 300 thousand jobs for the Brazilian economy, which currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in its history (around 13 million unemployed Brazilians). It is also estimated that the liberation of this type of activity would attract more than R$ 50 billion (US$13.65b) per year in investments and approximately R$ 20 (US$5.45b) billion with tax collection.
Estimates are based on the successful North American experience. In its latest study, the American Gaming Association reported that the industry currently employs 1.7 million people in the United States. The projection for the next decade is to generate approximately 62,000 new jobs for more than 200 career types. The benefits would therefore not be restricted to the tourism sector. The Association also pointed out that the gaming industry is more equal, compared to other sectors of the economy, because it employs a very diversified workforce. According to published data, 45% of the workforce is made up of minorities.
The US economy, of course, was not the only one to experience the benefits reported. In 2017, the GDP of Portugal, for example, grew about 4% with the legalization of the activity. Were it not for the results obtained by the tourism sector, increased by the casinos, the annual GDP would be negative. Only in the integrated resorts of the Estoril Sol network, 11 casinos are responsible for 18,000 jobs, spread throughout Portugal. The result was similar in South America, where the gaming market handled more than US$ 300 million and almost 5 million tourists in 2017. As a curiosity, in Uruguay, Brazilian capital accounts for about 50% of the revenues of casinos, which are the destination of approximately 500 thousand tourists from Brazil.
The Brazilian passion for gaming can not be denied. In addition to casinos, virtual bets also consume national investment. Aware of this, the biggest international gambling sites offer content and support in Portuguese, even though they maintain their servers in countries where the practice is regulated, so that all revenue from Brazilian players is retained by the nation that hosts the virtual platform.
In enacting the new law, the National Congress and the Executive Branch valued the best international experiences on the subject and revealed a clear understanding of the potential of this market for the national economy.
André Gustavo Sales Damiani
Marina de Almeida Santos Dias