Online casino gambling potentially worth billions in Brazil
Leading gambling agencies and their affiliates have recently released a report estimating that the potential legalization of gambling in Brazil could bring in roughly $2.1 billion in annual revenue for the state.
The push to regulate gambling in Brazil has been at the height of talks for some years amongst the top political brass of the country. The current laws allow for horse racing and lotteries, but recently the topic of conversation has shifted to full-scale gambling legalization; from traditional casinos to online gambling. The Brazilian agencies released the report in cooperation with the renowned auditing company KPMG, which clarified that that if regulated properly, the country could see a revenue of over $2 billion per annum from legal gambling.
Conversation of the issue is well-timed as industry giants such as the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Caesar’s Entertainment have been aching to jump to the construction of multi-million dollar casino resorts within the country (were regulation realized). Experts have long acknowledged that Brazil would have huge money making potential from the gambling market. However, success of legalization would depend on the formation of sensible and effective licensing, taxation and restrictive oversight of gross gambling profits. Robust regulations would have to be enforced to ensure that the industry could operate freely and devoid of corruption.
Currently, the precise turnover figures from illegal gambling are difficult to calculate, but experts in the Brazilian Legal Gaming Institute claim that as much as $6.2 billion in profits are generated each year from illegal gambling in Brazil. A figure that is almost three times the projected legal gambling revenue. Brazilian National Congress has long debated the push to legalization, and it may still take quite some time before a bill is proposed pushing gambling legalization. Many political leaders still fiercely oppose the idea, only further hindering efforts; but the current president Michel Temer and his administration are actually for legalization.
It remains to be seen whether Brazil’s political circles can finally settle the heated debate, and progress in favor of the gambling industry once and for all.
Belfast to consider construction of £300m casino mega-complex
Recent reports from the Belfast City Council have been released describing an upcoming consultation on whether or not to build a casino mega-complex in the city of Belfast. The reports have come into light along with discussions involving the city’s licensing laws. Currently, laws prohibit the development of any casino properties within the city, but dialogue has shifted between casino operators and political heads favoring the construction of the large casino-hotel establishment run by the firm Rank Group PLC. The public document that was released states: “There has been interest shown by international investors in developing an entertainment and casino complex in Belfast.”
Belfast city councilor Jim McVeigh has stated that release of the document is meant to garner the opinions of the citizens of Belfast. People within the tourism and hospitality sectors will be polled in two halves to determine the flexibility of open hours of the mega-complex; and to determine the general mood of the people of the Belfast if such a casino is constructed.
McVeigh also added that the impact of such a project, estimated at a construction cost roughly £300m, would create 1,000 potential new jobs in the city. He emphasized the tone of investors to be “very serious” in regards to such an endeavor; and stated that they would be very keen to begin construction if the project is greenlit. The casino would be very significant financially and physically, and would be sure to create a lasting change within the community of Belfast by drawing in not only locals, but visitors from far and wide.
The talks revolving around the casino are expected to begin December 11th and could run as late as March 5th the following year. Regardless of the outcome of the talks, the final decision rests in the hands of the Department for Communities and Northern Ireland Assembly. Despite a vacuum in power due to the resignation of late first minister Martin McGuinness, McVeigh remains upbeat about the future prospect. He has reaffirmed that the money is there, but it’s up to the state and political parties involved to organize and bring it to realization.
Online gambling is a hot topic in Illinois
2017 has been a rough year for gambling in the state of Illinois. It has become clear that after much debate the motion to legalize gambling, specifically online gambling has yet again been rejected. While an overturn of the current laws due to public pressure has been most anticipated, political support was not strong enough during the year to turn around gambling legislation for the state.
Regardless of the current political climate, in actuality, Illinois belongs to rare group of states that have made real progress among the topic of gambling laws compared to many other states within the continental U.S. And despite current setbacks, indicators suggest forward movement. Encouragingly, a strong effort to push the regulation of online gambling into the next year has come up as part of a much larger gaming expansion bill.
House Bill 479, to legalize and regulate internet gambling and fantasy sports, was proposed to the U.S. Senate back in May and despite being vetoed at the House, remains on the floor to be made available again for discussion upon the emergence of the next legislative year in January.
Illinois Rep. Michael Zalewski recently noted difficulties in passing any kind of gambling legislation due to the number of stakeholders with conflicting interests. However, sooner than later, a more comprehensive package should emerge designed to tip political support in favor of pro-gambling legislation. A large influence on the issue has been the boom of the online gambling industry in recent years. This is pushing brick-and-mortar casinos nationwide to expand into the domains of online gaming and betting. Like Illinois, other states like New York and Michigan have also considered to propose bills to push the legalization of online gambling in early 2018. The issue is clearly creating a ripple effect in North America, and industry leads are excited to potentially create new jobs and revenue.
Online gaming proponents remain optimistic in regards to the positive momentum, and the bill in question is intended to be once again pursued in 2018. Those paying close attention have little doubts concerning the bill’s potency despite the potential obstacles it faces. It seems that the issue of online gambling legalization has become a question of “when” not “if”.