Prospect Of New Casino Laws Attracts Operators To Brazil

Las Vegas Sands, Red Rock Resorts, Caesars and MGM International among recent land operators exploring possibilities

Brazilian political moves to expand gambling possibilities (including online) may have been bogged down by debate for the past two years, but the gaming potential of this vast country has clearly not escaped the attention of US land gambling barons.

Local media reports indicate that Las Vegas Sands, Red Rock Resorts, Caesars and MGM International have all had top executives and business development teams travel to Brazil to engage with lawmakers and assess possibilities once the new laws have been implemented.

They have reportedly been followed with Brazil missions from Austrian and Portuguese operators Estoril del Sol and Casinos Austria.

LVS owner Sheldon Adelson is well-known for his extreme anti-online gambling views, and is therefore unlikely to be interested in those aspects of the proposed gambling laws, but he certainly has his eye on the potential for large land casino resorts in the South American country.

Other contenders have in the past indicated an interest in both online and land gambling possibilities…a good indication for Brazil that the changes could be worthwhile on both online and land fronts.

Staying with Las Vegas Sands for a moment, the Pennsylvania media report that Adelson has decided against a planned $90 million expansion to one of his casino properties in eastern Pennsylvania.

The decision to halt construction is rumoured to be related to the ongoing $1.3 billion negotiations between Sands Bethlehem and potential buyer MGM Resorts, although neither side has commenting publicly on the acquisition discussions.

During the last fiscal year, Sands Bethlehem took the second-most slots wagers of the state’s 12 casinos ($4.52 billion), and the most gross table gaming revenue ($228.16 million) according to the publication Play Pennsylvania.

Adelson’s representatives have been outspoken in their opposition to online gambling legalisation in Pennsylvania, citing moral concerns and the perceived threat that online gambling could take business away from land casino floors (see previous InfoPowa reports).