Research Library

Sleeping Giant: Brazil is one of the few strong opportunities for IR development

While most of the gaming world is focused on Japan as the next emerging market, a battle continues south of the Equator to legalize gaming in Brazil. This untapped market could serve as the cornerstone for gaming development in the region if it were to become a fully regulated market. With the world’s fifth largest population, Brazil serves as one of the few strong opportunities left as an emerging jurisdiction for integrated resorts.

Brazil is one of the few large countries that does not have legalized gaming, and local stakeholders have come to believe that it puts them at a disadvantage to compete as a tourism destination at the international level. Like many potential gaming jurisdictions, local politicians see the case for integrated resorts as a way to generate tourism and economic development.
One of the best cases of this that is still used in jurisdictions like Japan and Brazil is the growth that Singapore saw with the addition of Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa in 2010. Brazil, which is coming off of hosting the Olympics two years ago, looks to continue to build its tourism with IRs serving as a base to attract individuals to the region.

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An Introduction to Sports Betting Operations

With the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), Indian casinos, commercial casinos, state governments, lotteries, and racetracks are all examining the feasibility of offering sports betting in their jurisdictions and creating legislative paths to bring sports betting to fruition. Sports leagues are also taking an active role, lobbying state legislators and even trying to get Congress to pass legislation that would federally mandate that they receive a cut of total wagering handle.

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The Quiet Casino Boomtown

As the gaming industry’s collective attention is focused on what casino development might look like in Japan, a small seaside resort town on the coast of Cambodia is quietly emerging as the
world’s fastest-growing gaming jurisdiction. The town is called Sihanoukville.

Sihanoukville is a port city and down-market vacation destination on the Gulf of Thailand in southwest Cambodia. It has long appealed to backpackers
for its pristine beaches and low-priced accommodations. It also has served as a gambling and vacation destination for Thais and Chinese.

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Responsible Gaming in Japan – Bill to be key to Japan’s Gaming Market

As Japan continues to look at the development of integrated resorts (IR), many people engaged and following the market are focused on the IR Implementation Bill. While it is important to know the regulatory framework, it is just as important for operators and interested parties to understand the importance of responsible gaming measures. This second bill that has sometimes been overlooked in recent months focuses on this topic.

Japan has the fortunate position of being able to use the Republic of Singapore, which launched its quest for IRs roughly 15 years ago, as a guide. Not only do they have Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority as a model for the regulatory body, they also have the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) as a reference point as they develop an atmosphere of responsible gaming.

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Home Stretch in Japan

For nearly 20 years, Japan has gone through several false starts and iterations in its attempt to legalize integrated resorts. In December 2016, Japan took its first official first step toward legalization with the passing of the IR Promotion Bill. Later this spring, Japan is poised to take the final step in this process with the introduction of two bills that will help solidify the initial act: the IR Implementation Bill and the Basics Bill on Gambling Addiction Countermeasures.

The government of Japan has been contemplating what items to include within these bills in its quest to create an environment that maximizes the potential benefit realized by the country in terms of investment and tourism as well as to attract quality operators to the market.

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If PASPA is Repealed, Then What?

Much has been written about the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and its possible repeal. To summarize, there are three possible outcomes. The first is that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) rules PASPA is unconstitutional. In that case, it will be up to individual states to decide whether to allow sports betting and the various forms it might take. The second scenario is that SCOTUS lets PASPA stand in its current form. In this scenario it would be up to Congress to decide if it wants to repeal or amend PASPA. Given the current political climate in Washington D.C., passage of such a bill might take some time. The third scenario is that SCOTUS takes a completely different route, either issuing a partial repeal or
potentially invalidating the four state exemption that currently exists.

Should the Supreme Court rule in New Jersey’s favor, one can expect sports betting to be available in a number of jurisdictions in fairly short order. Five states, outside of the four that
already had legislation in place prior to the passage of PASPA in 1992, have already passed legislation authorizing sports betting, and approximately fifteen others are considering enabling legislation or studying the issue. The question now becomes, should PASPA be repealed, what are the challenges that America’s tribes face in creating sports betting products that are competitive with what various states with commercial casinos and lotteries will ultimately offer.

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Research Brief: SCOTUS Repeal of PASPA

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (“PASPA”) in the Murphy v. NCAA case overturning the law and allowing sports betting to move forward in the United States. In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court also provided a victory for states’ rights. Today’s ruling allows commercial entities in states and Native American tribes to move forward to conduct sports wagering.

The Murphy v. NCAA case was heard by the Court in December. At the time, Global Market Advisors (GMA) had predicted that the court would rule in favor of states’ rights and sports betting on a 6 – 3 vote supporting New Jersey’s argument. The opinion of the Court issued today was led by Justice Samuel Alito and supported by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Neil Gorsuch, Elena Kagan, and Anthony Kennedy. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion. The dissenting opinion was issued by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Breyer joined the dissenting opinion on a small portion of the overall opinion from the court.

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Cash Back to Free Play

Non-negotiable slot credits, or what is more commonly known as “free play,” has emerged as the most often-used tool in the casino marketing arsenal. It has supplanted cash prizes, complimentary dining and invitations to special events as the primary incentive for rewarding player loyalty.

Its use, along with its occasional over-use, has had a profound effect on the slot-machine gaming experience, and while free play certainly has a wealth of benefits, both to casino operators and players, its prolific use has had unintended and often deleterious effects on both parties.

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Research Brief: The Economics of Sports Betting

As the United States awaits a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (“PASPA”) in the Murphy v. NCAA case, stakeholders are busy evaluating the size of the sports betting market opportunity and contemplating how to take advantage of the opportunity. Several government stakeholders have already enacted legislation
regarding the potential for sports betting, including the most recent legislation passed in Pennsylvania (2017) and West Virginia (2018). Many other state governments have introduced
proposed legislation for the new potential market opportunity, including Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Connecticut.

These enacted and proposed legislative pieces have begun to shape the potential regulatory framework of a legalized sports betting market in each state, including setting tax rates and
licensing fees. Other stakeholders, including the professional sports leagues, have suggested that an integrity (royalty) fee should be levied as well. Unfortunately, some of these proposed taxes and levies do not fit within the economic construct of the sports betting opportunity as the margins achieved in the industry are too slim for the operator to generate enough profit to justify investment.

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Deep Dive: The Future of Sports Betting in the United States

As the nation awaits the upcoming decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in Christie v. NCAA, various stakeholders are evaluating their next steps, and how to maximize the revenue potential from legalized sports betting.

Today, a federal law known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) limits most legal sports betting to Nevada and three other states. This article examines the critical success factors for sports wagering in the United States and the operators that will be best positioned to provide the products and services that sports wagering customers will seek.

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