Major Casino Operators Flock to Brazil to Attend Pro-Gambling Parliamentary Front’s Inauguration

Big industry names are expected to attend a Wednesday meeting that will mark the inauguration of Brazil’s Parliamentary Front for the Legalization of Gaming, local media has reported. The front was created after Deputy César Halum, a long-time gambling legalization proponent, managed to collect the necessary number of signatures from fellow lawmakers.

It was in August when Deputy Halum announced that he would begin gathering signatures for the establishment of the front. The lawmaker needed 171 signatures in order to be able to complete the move. It has become clear that as many as 262 fellow members of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Brazil’s National Congress, have supported Deputy Halum’s idea.

Generally speaking, the Front will be lobbying for the legalization of different forms of gambling in the country, including land-based casinos and online gaming and betting. With very few exceptions, those being horse race betting, poker, and state-run lotteries, gambling is prohibited in the South American country. What is more, Brazil’s gambling laws have generally not been upgraded since the 1940s when the country’s current regulatory framework was introduced.

Several pieces of legislation have been introduced to both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, and although there has been a certain amount of support among lawmakers, none of the bills has progressed much.

One such piece – PL 442/91 – was approved last year by a Special Committee for the regulation of gaming in the country. Deputy Halum has recently told local media that one of the main goals of the newly formed Front will be to urge further progress on the bill and its eventual enactment.

According to the Deputy and other supporters of the gambling legalization push, Brazil is annually losing R$18 billion in revenue to illegal gambling operations. Games of chance are particularly popular among residents of the country, but they can only be provided and played illegally. According to gambling analysts, Brazil has the potential to become the world’s largest regulated jurisdiction if proper regulations are put in place.

Major Gambling Companies Express Keen Interest in Brazil

Local media reported that representatives of some of the largest casino operators will attend the inauguration of the Parliamentary Front, with some of these being Las Vegas Sands, Caesars Entertainment Corp., and Portugal’s Estoril Sol.

Las Vegas Sands, led by casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, had long ago expressed its support for the legalization of gambling in the country and had pointed out that it would certainly consider building an integrated resort there.

Caesars Entertainment, whose main operating unit recently emerged from bankruptcy, said earlier this year that Brazil was one of the jurisdictions it would look to expand into.

Both Las Vegas Sands and Caesars Entertainment are currently operating multiple properties on the Las Vegas Strip. In addition, Las Vegas Sands manages luxury resorts in Singapore and Macau, while Caesars Entertainment is currently expanding into Canada, yet another highly lucrative market.

As for Estoril Sol, it is the owner of what is believed to be Europe’s largest casino – Estoril Casino, which is located not far from the Portuguese capital Lisbon.

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