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Lusa - Business News - Macau: Law firm ready to help Brazil shape, implement rules for legal gambling

Macau,China, May 23, 2019(Lusa)- A senior partner in a Macau law firm specialised in the gambling sector on Thursday told Lusa that it plans to export know-how and casino operators to Brazil, as that country’s legislators debate legalising gambling.
"We can give the knowledge that we already have of Macau’s laws," said Pedro Cortés, a Portuguese partner at Rato, Ling, Law & Cortés – Advogados, in a break from the 13th Global Gaming Expo Asia (G2E Asia), which is taking place in Macau. “We can give some contacts that we have with some of Macau’s operators.”
“What we want is to bring operators from here to Brazil,” he added.
In effect, he explained, the firm would help build a "bridge between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.”
Brazil "has enormous potential" for gambling operators, Cortés went on, noting that projections for the market are for gross annual revenues of some $6.5 billion.
Nevertheless, he went on, there are challenges relating to security and the fact that Brazil is made up of states that have differing legislation for the sector.
According to Cortés, one of the main players in Macau’s market, US casino operator Las Vegas Sands, "has been in talks with the governor of Rio de Janeiro for a long time" and there is the possibility of other, smaller operators entering Brazil.
Cortés also stressed that he sees a great willingness on the part of Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, to legalise gambling: he has already stressed publicly "that gambling exists and [it] is better to have the operation legalised," so as to assure that revenue flows into state coffers from operators.
"Let’s see if the Evangelicals go along with this talk," he added, alluding to the clout of this religious movement, which forms a large part of Bolsonaro’s support base, and which opposes the legalisation of gambling.
Cortés’s comments come a day after another Portuguese lawyer from the same firm attended a hearing of the sports committee of Brazil’s Senate, in which he outlined the structure and functioning of the regulated gambling markets in Macau and Portugal .
"Brazil has a population with a certain propensity to gamble, [that] enjoys gambling, and is a country of continental size, which has its very own reality,” the lawyer, Oscar Madureira, who has worked with the gambling industry for some 15 years, told Lusa at the time. “Portugal and Macau are two regulated markets and Brazil can look at these … and see whether these practices are good or not, taking into account their [own] reality.
"If Brazil wants to make it attractive and receive this foreign direct investment, which has a real impact on people – and we are talking about billions of US dollars invested and creating thousands of jobs – it should make this product attractive,” he went on. “In this context, Portugal spoke about the online [gambling] situation, the way in which the activity could generate much more profit for the state, and it does not … because it is excessively penalised in tax terms.”
On 26 April, President Bolsonaro said that it was up to the legislative branch, Congress, to decide on whether to legalise gambling, which has been banned in the country since 1941.


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2019-05-24 09:34:00


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