GMB - What is your position regarding the legalization of casinos in Brazil?
Fausto Franco - Let us assume that this is a controversial subject, that is, it is subject to a series of questions because it divides opinions. As long as clear criteria for control are established, I think legalization is positive and can generate gains. Casinos attract tourists and create job opportunities. We have acted in favor of the growth of ecotourism, business tourism, adventure, religious and nautical. In the same way we encourage the offer of new tourism products, and the casinos represent exactly a new aspect to grow. It is necessary to have controls such as the number of casinos per state, for example. But that the new legislation can establish those criteria.
Could casinos, in your opinion, benefit your state's tourism?
No doubt Bahia would benefit from the offer of a new tourism product. Just as Las Vegas has prepared to welcome visitors from all continents, we have an offer of attractions that further enhances a roadmap with casinos as the main reason for the trip.
Would you be favorable that only resort casinos be released, or do you consider that physical casinos independent of the big hotels should exist as well?
The proposal under consideration by Congress, which authorizes casinos only in tourist complexes containing luxury hotel, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment areas, has a well-defined purpose. The idea is to raise the average ticket of the tourist who visits us.
Which are the cities that could host casinos in the state?
Bahia has large tourist complexes in various regions, from the North Coast to the south of the state. From Baixio to Santa Cruz Cabrália, investors will have the most paradisiacal alternatives. In more than a thousand kilometers of coast, Bahia has prominent destinations such as Costa do Sauipe, Itacaré, Trancoso and Comandatuba Island. Chapada Diamantina also offers breathtaking landscapes, history, natural beauty, trails and waterfalls, surrounded by excellent infrastructure and airport.
Have you been following what happens in the Chamber of Deputies and Senators with the gambling legalization laws? Do you believe that this year there will be news on this topic?
The Joint Parliamentary Front for Tourism Advocacy suggests that the projects join the voting agenda as a relative support base for the proposals is built. Several industry issues have advanced, such as the opening of foreign capital to airlines. It is only natural that the proposal to legalize casinos reaches the plenary.
Are you planning to travel to Las Vegas or some other city to analyze the economic benefits of casinos for Bahia?
Our travel schedule includes a visit to Imex America event at Sands Expo, one of the largest convention facilities in the world, in Las Vegas. Our goal is to dialogue with managers of major hotel and casino chains, to prospect businesses and attract investment to Bahia.
Source: Exclusive Games Magazine Brasil