José Eduardo Pereira de Deus presented “The Pandemic and the Game”

Casino Estoril

Last Saturday, Casino Estoril hosted the presentation of the book “A Pandemia eo Jogo”, by José Eduardo Pereira de Deus. In a ceremony held at the Art Gallery, the work, edited by Lisbon Press, was dissected by the author and a distinguished panel of speakers who also analyzed and debated the current situation and the new challenges of the gaming sector at the national and international level.

António Vieira Coelho, Executive Director of Estoril Sol, began the ceremony with an analysis of the role of gambling in society in general: “gaming is a fundamental recreational activity for the mental health of human beings, and should be regulated by the State, in a manner, for citizens to play in moderation. It is essential that the game be safe and responsible.

The game has been abused since forever. They only talk about their vices and the sector has always been looked down upon. In reality, the game has been viewed by successive Governments with some hypocrisy. It is considered that if this activity generates more income, it pays more taxes, and this is seen in a less objectionable way”.

In turn, Carlos Costa, Director of NAU Hotels & Resort and former General Manager of Operations at Casino Lisboa, underlined: “the gaming sector in territorial casinos was one of the most affected by Covid-19, whether due to the mandatory closure establishments for several months; whether due to the restrictions implemented, especially due to the opening hours or social distance”.

According to Carlos Costa: “This pandemic has been a real social, economic and health roulette” and also highlighted the disastrous effects “in the life of our society, families, companies, and naturally, casinos”.

In the use of the word, Jorge Godinho, Associate Professor at ISMAT – Instituto Superior Manuel Teixeira Gomes, made some general remarks about the book “A Pandemia eo Jogo”. “It is very rare to launch this type of work related to the game in a broad sense, whether territorial or online. The book is an important contribution to the study of this industry and to the debates on these issues, it is written in an objective, direct style, it is another important testimony with regard to this industry”.

And he added: “The book is the result of an individual effort without any support or institutional framework, which increases the merit of the work and the author. But it does not serve to hide the weaknesses in which the gaming sector finds itself. There is a lack of structured and continuous efforts to put in place an agenda for research and scientific production that will contribute to strengthening and deepening the major problems in this sector.

António Nunes, President of OSCOT – Observatory of Security, Organized Crime and Terrorism, highlighted: “the book is an opportunity to talk and reflect on the game model, the circumstances in which Portugal and the world face the gaming sector. It is a must-read reflection for all players in the game, be they gamblers, casino employees, and for those who like to have a general culture of what has happened in the country over the last 100 years”.

According to António NunesThe State must concession, regulate and supervise this industry, this sector, granting concessions to private entities, namely casinos, which have already demonstrated their maturity of being able to have fundamental balances in society to develop this activity in which it will generate income. There must be a gaming regulatory body with broad autonomy that, in turn, would distribute substantive parts of what the game revenues are, – whether they are the so-called social games or other games, – for cultural purposes, tourist entertainment purposes, social, social causes and management.

In turn, the author of the work, José Eduardo Pereira de Deus said: “In-game language, I got the “full” today because all these interventions were brilliant. They allowed me to reach the conclusion that it was worth the effort and the time which I dedicated to the work I did on the historical framework in Portugal, reflecting on the effects of the pandemic, on the future of the sector, on possible models that we can equate for the future”.

I have benefited during all these years having lived and worked, on a daily basis, with the protagonists of the different areas of the game, from administrators, directors, managers, janitors or ushers. In fact, it’s an area in which I’ll still work for a few more years and I’m very happy because I like what I do in this activity”, he concluded.

Antonio Vieira Coelho ended the ceremony, emphasizing: “it is essential that the game be demystified”. And, thus, it launched a challenge to all those involved, so that, on a regular basis, sessions open to society are held, so that this activity is dissected, without complexes, making the spaces of Estoril Sol’s casinos available for this purpose.

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