Hotel owners in Brazil have banded together to present their views to the Joint Parliamentary Front in Defense of Tourism. They are lobbying for a bill that would restrict new casinos to existing premium venues. They want the current bill amended before it becomes law.
Paulo Azi, of the Brazilian Democrats, introduced the bill in January to allow for a limited number of new casinos in certain areas (one venue for a population up to 15 million, two for 25 million and three for over this ceiling). They would retain licensing for thirty years.
According to Azi,
“The feeling that Brazil cannot do without this economic activity consolidated across the majority of the world is beginning to grow among Brazilian lawmakers. Casinos would attract huge investments, generating thousands of jobs and high tax revenue.”
The bill has engendered debate and is still in the process of enactment. Opponents fear money laundering opportunities to the detriment of the country’s economy. Nonetheless with strong efforts from the Brazilian Association of Hotels, the Brazilian Association of Resorts (ABR), the Brazilian Federation of Lodging and Food and the Forum of Hotel Operators of Brazil, the bill should pass.
In the words of ABR President Alberto Cestrone,
“While we understand casinos are important for the generation of employment and taxes, we ask the parliament to consider existing resorts as an ideal space for the installation of casinos. Resorts are a natural product to absorb such a venture. It does not need big investments and still has good gastronomy and structure already ready to make it work.”
A version of this article first appeared at casino.buzz