Gambling Legislation

Paraguay could open its online gambling market

Paraguay could open its online gambling market

Lawmakers in the country are going to debate whether to eliminate the current monopoly

After several weeks of delays, Deputies in Paraguay will initiate discussions on the bill seeking to amend six articles of Law No. 1016/1997, which covers games of chance. The proposal to end the current monopoly on issuing gaming permits for sports betting, betting pools, and other games of chance is on the Lower House’s Wednesday, June 12 agenda.

Deputies argue that the current law related to games of chance needs to be updated and not promote a monopoly for issuing gaming and betting licenses. “The commercial dynamics of gambling have developed much faster than the ‘unconstitutional’ legal regime that to date governs gambling,” states the proposal.

The significant change is found in Article 8, which states: “Concessions will be granted to the 3 (three) best bidders presented as a minimum and that they conform to the rules issued by the competent authority, which will include the power to increase the canon. Decisions to award national games of chance require the approval of the Executive Branch.”

The current legislation establishes that concessions only be granted to the single best offer. Local ABC media reported that Deputy Adrián “Billy” Vaesken (PLRA, C), who proposed the bill, recently met with Chartist colleagues, who gave their endorsement. The Chartists hold the majority in the Lower House but haven’t expressed their commitment as a whole.

Last month, the Paraguayan Chamber of Gaming (CPJA), the Paraguayan Association of Gaming Operators (APOJA), and the Paraguayan Association of Gaming Entrepreneurs (APEJA) forwarded a letter to President Santiago Peña titled “Gambling is not gambling.” It proposed maintaining the Conajzar and revising current laws to converge a competitive regulatory framework with technology to promote the market.

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