The Tourism Minister for the state of Bahia Alberto Alves in Brazil has called on lawmakers to make changes to its gambling law as a matter of urgency.
The National Forum of State Secretaries and Directors of Tourism (FORNATUR) met last week (October 18) with federal deputies in Brasilia in order to discuss emergency issues for the tourism sector. The meeting also discussed proposed structural changes to the Brazilian Tourist Board (EMBRATUR). Vice President for Institutional Relations of FORNATUR Leonel Pavan said: “Both projects are of fundamental importance to promote tourism for the national and state economies.”
Speaking after the meeting in the Federal Chamber, attended by representatives of 25 Brazilian states, Tourism Minister for the state of Bahia Alberto Alves said that members of FORNATUR were able to impress upon local lawmakers the importance of passing gaming laws now under consideration in Congress, which would help stimulate economic growth.
“It was possible to show the relevance of these issues to the economy, the creation of jobs and the growth of tourism related activity. And, in this way, we ask parliamentarians to approve the proposals as soon as possible,” he said.
Undersecretary of Tourism for Bahia, Benedito Braga told press that casinos would generate between 25 per cent to 30 per cent of revenue while the rest would be generated from the larger resorts and complexes where they are located. Laws being considered in the Chamber of Deputies would allow for casinos within wider leisure complexes. Meanwhile, legislation which is being considered in the Senate allows for casinos in resorts, but they would only be permitted to use 10 per cent of the available space for gaming while the remaining space would be used for restaurants, shops, theatres, exhibition space, as well as others facilities.
Alberto Alves has been a long time supporter of pro gaming legislation. In April 2016, while serving as Tourism Minister for Brazil, he said that gaming laws needed to be changed quickly. FRENTUR has also consistently urged lawmakers to try to push forward bills which would legalise casino gaming. Made up of 250 deputies and senators, FRENTUR aims to improve legislation in the tourism industry in order to generate income and jobs. Casinos are a key issue for the organisation as they could provide a vital impetus to Brazil’s economic recovery.