International edition
August 19, 2019

Conclusions drawn by the panel discussion on casinos at BgC 2019

"Integrated casino resorts are the best choice for Brazil to open the gambling market"

"Brazil offers the most potential for gambling growth in the world; we are one of the most populated countries in the globe, and yet, gambling is illegal," Bruno Omori said.
Brazil | 06/26/2019

At BgC 2019, a panel of speakers made up of Alex Pariente (Hard Rock International), John Maddox (Caesars Entertainment), Bruno Omori (Brazilian Association for the Hospitality Industry in Sao Paulo), Pedro Cortés (Brazilian law firm Rato Ling Lei & Cortés) and Robert Brassai (Sense4Gaming) analyzed the opportunities and the hurdles that international investors in the casino segment might be faced with in the Brazilian market.

"Brazil has considerable market potential, so we are clearly interested in this jurisdiction," Caesars Entertainment’s Maddox said. "That is why Caesars has been following Brazil’s evolution closely for some time now."

"We are aware of the impact that the opening of this market will have on the Brazilian economy and we are fully committed to achieving that goal," Hard Rock International’s Alex Pariente commented. "We ought to consider what is best for this country and which options could lead to long-term growth."

"The integration between resorts and casinos is of utmost importance for the development of this sector. A complex with a wide range of entertainment offering attracts tourists and encourages them to return, what eventually leads to the expansion of the regions where we seek to attract investors," Pariente said.

"Brazil offers the most potential for gambling growth in the world; we are one of the most populated countries in the globe, and yet, gambling is illegal, but we are working for that to change" Bruno Omori, pointed out, agreeing with Pariente. "We expect to have a nation with rules everyone is able to understand, with fair, solid legislation, which will eventually result in a very promising future for the region. To accomplish this, Brazilian citizens must decide what type of country they want and take the most of the opportunities that come in hand."

In a similar vein, John Maddox said: "global companies need stability to analyze long-term investments and set up sustainable businesses, as well as a regulated market."

"When we have already put in place a definite regulatory framework and its consequent legal certainty for investors, I believe the major international groups will be able to provide the local market with valuable potential both for international and local tourists," Pariente highlighted.

"If Brazil is able to provide a safe business environment, long term rules and legal certainty, the region’s potential will be maximized," Pedro Cortés added. "I do not know which will be the final development model, but when we think of Las Vegas, we know there is not just gambling there, but also a wide array of restaurants, luxurious hotels, and spectacular shows, so I believe integrated resorts are the best choice for Brazil to open this market, as they will provide the sector with the best chance for sustained growth," he added.

When speaking about the business opportunities arising from local partners, Bruno Omori commented that: "local firms are interested in joining forces with companies that have experience in the sector and very much appreciate the opportunities that the opening of this market will bring to touristic destinations, so I believe that local hotel operators will be pleased to move forward in this new segment and partnerships will eventually flow in a very smooth and professional way."

By the end of the conference, the discussion was marked by controversy over the two models that are being considered for Brazil: to allow all forms of gambling or just integrated resorts. In this regard, operators were categoric and their position was summarized by Alex Pariente: "We are not against the expansion of gambling, we just believe operators are not to chose the legal framework, that is up to Brazilian lawmakers and citizens. This decision must be analyzed, discussed and approved by the Congress. Whichever the model, legislation must be clear and certain enough to be feasible in the long term, so international operators feel entering this market is a safe choice."

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