The President of the Lottery of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Loterj), Sérgio Ricardo de Almeida has come out in support of new laws which would open up the market to foreign investors.
According to Ricardo de Almeida the state could be a frontrunner for the gaming industry with other states soon following suit. In an opinion piece for local daily O Globo Ricardo de Almeida said that there is already considerable interest in the construction of “seven or eight casinos” in the state, which could generate up to R$80bn in revenue. Rio de Janeiro he said could serve as an example to other states and cities.
“By choosing a model focused on Rio, Brazil has the chance to promote the development of the sector and can more efficiently manage the necessary operational and fiscal controls. The collection of royalties and participation in the casino concessions in Rio will generate revenues that will be distributed to the other states, after all, estimates indicate that 70 per cent of them are not attractive to the casino sector,” he said.
Ricardo de Almeida went onto say that some of the largest operators in the world were willing to invest a “few billion” in Brazil leading to job creation in a wide number of sectors including construction, information technology and hospitality. In addition the city of Rio de Janeiro was ideally suited due to the recent investments in infrastructure, transportation and airports which had all been tested and “approved by visitors to the World Cup and the Olympics.” In addition both urban renewal projects ahead of the Olympics of Porto Maravilha and Barra da Tijuca would now be the ideal spot for new casinos.
Ricardo de Almeida said that the majority of revenue would not be generated by the casinos but from the service industries gathered around the casinos. Nothing, he said, would prevent other states from assimilating the experience of Rio de Janeiro and creating their own casino market. This he concluded was crucial during the current economic crisis.