QUI 12 DE DEZEMBRO DE 2019 - 07:40hs.
Investment of at least US$ 2.65bn

Sheldon Adelson awaits gaming legalization to open casinos in Rio and São Paulo

Sheldon Adelson, the president of Las Vegas Sands, one of the largest casino operators in the world, is already a kind of local in Brasilia. At his 85 years old, the billionaire wants to make an investment of at least US$2.65 billion if the law that legalizes casinos-resorts in the country is approved. He can offer a good financial proposal for the Olympic Park of Barra da Tijuca, now owned by Union’s AGLO.

With investments in Singapore, Macau and Las Vegas, Adelson is making strong lobbying among Brazilian politicians. He points out that the company wants to make an investment of at least US$2.65 billion if the law that legalizes casinos-resorts in the country is approved.

The moment

The last manifestation of the entrepreneur occurred after the approval of the Provisional Measure that legalized sports betting in the country. In the MP, "fixed quota" bets (as they were called in the document) are released in Brazil, both in phisical points of sale and on the Internet. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for regulating the activity, which may take up to 2 years. MP can pave the way for legalization of online casino and traditional ones.

Adelson wants to build a resort-casino in São Paulo and another in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. The Rio landscape is a kind of obsession for the American businessman, who can offer a good financial proposal for the Olympic Park of Barra da Tijuca, now owned by Union’s AGLO.

Why resorts?

A key factor in the proposed casino legalization currently discussed in Brasilia is the requirement that they be attached to large resorts. The idea is to give even more stimulus to tourist areas, both for domestic and foreign tourism.

Brazilians stay for short periods in tourist places. With the arrival of the casinos, the average price of lodging in the resorts must fall, like Las Vegas, since gaming becomes the flagship activity of these places. Another perspective is to attract more foreign tourists and during various times of the year.

The current mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, has already manifested positively about the legalization of casinos and online casino on some occasions. In 2018 he was reunited with American billionaire Sheldon Adelson on more than one occasion. The entrepreneur's desire is to use the beautiful landscape of Rio de Janeiro to install a high-end casino, as an example of what his company, Las Vegas Sands, has done in Las Vegas and Singapore.

After the meetings, Mayor Crivella went to the press and addressed the topic of the conversation. "I want new president Jair Bolsonaro to help me approve a super license to have a casino and online casino sites. I received a visit from Sheldon Adelson, president of Las Vegas Sands, and he is very interested in investing US$2.65 billion and generating 50,000 jobs," the mayor said in December 2018.

Tourism in Brazil

It is important that the Brazilian tourism industry is heated. The country, which is the largest and richest in Latin America, is not the one that receives the most tourists. Even with the biggest coast in the world.

The vast majority of tourists come from Argentina. Of a total of 6.5 million tourists in 2017, 2.6 million were Argentineans. Next come the Americans, almost 480,000, and Chileans, just over 340,000.

In the same year, Las Vegas, the gaming capital of the world, received almost 40 million tourists. The great attraction, of course, is the city's luxurious casinos. Las Vegas is also the second most sought after destination in Brazil, losing only to Orlando, where Disney is located.

Close to legalization?

In March 2018, the Senate Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ) rejected a proposal to legalize gambling in Brazil. However, the agenda was discussed at a later date.

The big problem with the Senate proposal was its breadth and complexity. In addition to the resorts-casino and online casino, it determined the legalization of bingos. During the year 2018, the agenda gained strength again, especially with the lobby of Sheldon Adelson.

The philosophy of the new Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, is the free market and the creation of new sources of income. So the legalization of the activity may be closer than ever in Brazil. It is enough to see what the model adopted by the country will be: protectionist, giving preference to Brazilian operators; or free competition, with the entry of large foreign investors.

Source: GMB / Gamepress.com.br