Gambling Legislation

Paraguay appears ready to expand online gaming market

Paraguay appears ready to expand online gaming market

Lawmakers in Paraguay may start drafting legislation to remove the quasi-monopoly currently in place

Paraguay’s Legislation and Codification Commission Deputy, Adrián Vaesken, was recently visited by the president of the National Gaming Commission (Conajzar, for its Spanish acronym), Carlos Augusto Liseras, with one goal in mind. The discussion focused on the idea of revising Law No. 1,016/97, which “establishes the legal regime for the exploitation of games of luck or chance” in Paraguay.

Vaesken seeks changes to the law to demonopolize the licensing process, which in the current system sees Conajzar issuing gaming licenses for activities such as sports betting, lotteries, pools, and other games in a monopolistic way to a single company for periods of five years.

“The intention is to adapt the law to our highest order, the National Constitution, which in its article 107 establishes that competition in the market is guaranteed and that the creation of monopolies will not be permitted,” said Vaesken.

Breaking up the monopoly would bring more competition, creating jobs and generating higher tax revenue. The Conajzar president also announced that the national Executive Branch plans to propose legislation to void the current law.

However, Vaesken contended that changing the law would take much longer and that the current legislation needs to be changed soon so the new regulations can be implemented quickly.
The parliament’s proposal to modify Law No. 1,016/97 will be officially introduced in the next several days.

In January, the National Competition Commission (Conacom, for its Spanish acronym) recommended a government review of Paraguay’s current gambling law, as it allowed licensed providers to have a monopoly on sports betting, casinos, instant games, and pools.

Conacom released a statement in July questioning the terms of sports betting licenses and proposed recommendations on how future sports betting licenses should be tendered. Conacom also asserted that the conditions designated by the National Gaming Commission (Conajzar) have deterred competition within the industry.

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