Scientific Games and IGT Win Brazil Lottery Contract, Country Continues Pursuing More Open Economy

Posted on: October 23, 2019, 09:36h. 

Last updated on: October 23, 2019, 10:32h.

Scientific Games and IGT have partnered to successfully win the operational rights to Brazil’s instant lottery.

Scientific Games IGT Brazil lottery
It’s a deal: Scientific Games and IGT will become Brazil’s official lottery supplier and operator in early 2020. (Image: Yogonet)

Two of the world’s largest gaming manufacturers and lottery services providers, Las Vegas-based Scientific Games and UK-headquartered IGT, will pay the Brazilian government a total of $200 million in exchange for the 15-year lottery deal. The arrangement additionally requires a 17 percent tax on gross winnings to be shared with Brasilia.

“The award of the Brazilian LOTEX concession represents an important step towards the privatization of lottery instant games in Brazil, the world’s eighth-largest economy,” IGT and Scientific said in a joint statement.

“We are excited and honored by this opportunity for IGT and Scientific Games to help define the evolution of instant lottery in Brazil through a 50-50 joint venture over the next 15 years. This business partnership will benefit the people and government of Brazil,” the release added.

Brazil has been trying to privatize its LOTEX lottery for several years, but has failed to attract a bid it felt was adequate to warrant a sale. IGT and Scientific were the lone bidders in what was the seventh request for proposals.

Brazil Gaming

Brazil handing over its lottery to Scientific Games and IGT ends another monopoly long held by the largest country in South America and Latin America. Though it is the world’s eighth-largest economy, it’s also one of the most isolated.

In the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest guidance for Brazil, the organization pinpoints six keys that would allow the country’s economy to expand. One of those parameters includes opening up the country to outside companies and investments.

Brazil’s economy would benefit from opening up. Brazil is one of the most closed economies in the world due to both tariff and non-tariff barriers. Opening up to more trade is essential to improve competitiveness and could give a much-needed fillip to investment,” the IMF declared.

The lottery follows Brazil freeing its oil and gas market to foreign companies.

Casino Expansion

Brazil is also considering opening the country to commercial casinos, something that has garnered the interest of some of the world’s biggest gaming companies.

Las Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson has made multiple trips in recent years to explore the viability of building an integrated resort there. MGM China billionaire Pansy Ho said last week that Brazil meets all the basic requirements to host a multibillion-dollar casino property.

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro recently met with the country’s Tourism Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, where he reportedly said he would support legalizing casinos.

Federal legislation resides in the National Congress that would authorize casino resorts, online gambling, and sports betting. The mayor of Rio de Janeiro – Brazil’s tourism destination headliner – also wants to bring a casino destination to town.

“We are fighting now so that the Brazilian Congress will allow us to have casinos here, something that the modern world already enjoys and that we want to have in Rio,” Mayor Marcelo Crivella said in August.