Brazilian casino operators may have to cross their fingers because their efforts to expand casinos are in the hands of evangelical Christian legislators who are not gambling fans. These legislators are probably not enthusiastic on these plans.
President Jair Bolsonaro previously met members of the federal Chamber of Deputies’ central bloc who proposed for authorization of casino gambling. Although Bolsonaro publicly announced his opposition to gambling expansion, he felt that the choice should be left to individual states to decide whether or not they should have a casino under their jurisdiction.
The president, however, told the central deputies that he was open for discussions on the casino authorization. In his talks, he preferred the chamber’s evangelical bloc to have a say on whether the proposal should progress beyond the discussion stage.
According to calvinayre.com, Rio de Janeiro’s mayor, Marcelo Crivella who is also a bishop, is one of the members of the evangelical bloc. Since Rio is one of the most coveted locations eyed by international casino operators, the mayor appears to be in support of casino development.
Crivella’s support is tied to a proviso that the casino’s gaming floor would be available to international tourists only. This means that locals will not find it accessible to them.
Another major location that is considered prime for an international casino project in Sao Paolo. The state’s Secretary of tourism has also welcomed the idea since it will have an economic advantage to the residents. Sao Paolo’s 16% unemployment level may be reduced following the casino development.
Marco Feliciano, who is the deputy of the chamber’s evangelical bloc, declared that legalizing casinos was against the religious faction, therefore, they will not rule in favor of the proposal. In fact, he commented that there would be no argument about it shutting out any possibility of discussions regarding the matter.
Meanwhile, Brazil is drafting gambling regulations that will govern both online sports and land-based betting. This is after the country’s former president had officiated the betting legislation into the law a year ago. Different legislation that would deal with casino development, has not found enough support to allow it to proceed to the next level.
Even with the uncertainty, casino operators are not failing to push their lack. Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands’ boss has expressed his desire for venturing into the Brazilian market. He met with Brazilian officials both in Brazil and Nevada and discussed on the possibilities of having a casino in the country.
Adelson previously pitched an Integrated Resort in Rio worth $8 billion in May 2017. He later changed his mind saying that LVS could spend up to $15 billion in investments in Brazil. This amount would suffice for a property in Rio and Sao Paolo.
The billionaire in 2015’s fourth-quarter report had explained that Brazil possessed very good potential and would be a great opportunity for Sands. However, he stated that Rio needed more four-star and five-star hotels.