International edition
July 20, 2019

According to Minister of Tourism Marcelo Álvaro Antônio

"Brazil won't be different from those countries with integrated resorts"

While speaking with the press, the Minister didn't delve into the proposal and said the issue 'isn't a priority for the country at the moment.'
Brazil | 03/25/2019

The Head of the Ministry of Tourism said Thursday that the government should promote a debate to a analyze the opening of casinos at integrated resorts, but recognized this issue is not a priority and will not be dealt with in the short term.

"I do not think Brazil has time for this issue at present, but the opening of casinos will be discussed eventually, as 95% of the developed countries already authorize them and Brazil will not be an exception," Minister of Tourism Marcelo Álvaro Antônio said.

When speaking with the press, the Minister didn't delve into the proposal but said the discussion "isn't a priority for the country at the moment. Integrated resorts could be dealt with in the future, but the federal government has not an official position yet," he assured.

The integrated resorts' discussion will also have to face the opposition of the religious members of Brazil's Congress –who support President Jair Bolsonaro– who are strongly against gambling legalization.

However, Marcelo Crivella, Rio de Janeiro Mayor and Head of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God,  defended Wednesday the opening of an integrated resort in Porto Maravilha. It has even been revealed that the issue was discussed at Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump's meeting in Washington.

Gambling legalization has been a highly controversial issue in the Brazilian Congress since casinos were banned in 1946.

A casino bill has already been passed by a House Special Committee during the last legislative session, but it still awaits the whole lower house's approval. The Chamber of Deputies' presiding officer Rodrigo Maia has already told pro-casino lawmakers that the proposed law will not be discussed before the new Social Security Act is approved.

According to Rep. Herculano Passos, member of the Joint Parliamentary Front for Tourism, integrated resorts will be authorized in the future. San Pablo would be able to have up to three casinos, while Río de Janeiro, Minas and Bahía, three venues each. "I believe the best model we could have is that of integrated resorts. Large luxury resorts would attract international events and that is going to boost tourism," he concluded.

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