No matter what part of the casino industry we are talking about, the simple fact of the matter is that you cannot go very far without mentioning billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Adelson, now 83, has been a casino mogul for some time now, and is a direct stakeholder in a plethora of properties in the US and around the globe.
Frequently, Adelson finds himself on the front lines of attempting to lay down the framework for casinos in places where gambling establishments have long been outlawed or never even considered. His most recent move was to pitch an $8 billion casino resort to the president of Brazil. As you could probably expect once you consider the nation’s conservative roots, gambling is not so big in Brazil, and is not very big in South America at all. Adelson, however, is hoping that that is something we will see change in the very near future.
One would think that Brazil, a devoutly Catholic nation, would have a difficult time entertaining the ideas of a Jewish billionaire from the United States, but that is exactly what happened this week. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Adelson sat down with Brazilian President Michel Temer—amongst other officials—to pitch an idea rumored to be worth $8 billion.
As a prelude to the casino resort pitch, Adelson’s first order of business was to discuss the possibility of lifting the current prohibition of gambling in Brazil. In fact, gambling like that which you will find in Atlantic City and Las Vegas has not seen the light of day in Brazil for more than 7 decades, and until recently there were very few people who thought that that might be changing anytime soon. While there is still plenty of work to do before a law as momentous as the legalization of gambling is passed, Adelson’s involvement in the matter means that things are moving along to some degree.
Having been in the industry as long as he has, Adelson has had plenty of times to talk about potential markets for his next casino adventures. Brazil has been one of those countries that has come up time and time again, and has been coined a “potentially very good opportunity” by Adelson himself. The word “potentially” sticks out from that previous statement, as Adelson has also commented on his concerns regarding the stability of the nation’s economy as well as its lacking of 4 and 5-star hotels.
With all of this being said, it seems as though Adelson will be eyeing the Brazilian market closer than ever before over the course of the coming months. If he can, somehow, effect change that would allow for casino resorts to exist within Brazil, he would be making inroads into what is forecast to be one of the biggest gambling markets in the world. With billions and billions of dollars being brought in via the tourism industry every year, it seems as though it would be a highly profitable endeavor for Adelson to construct a resort casino, or even a few of them.
We will be paying attention to this particular story as the days and weeks progress, because Adelson’s involvement is a very big deal.