Gambling Legislation

Paraguay poised to relax gaming license framework

Paraguay poised to relax gaming license framework

Lawmakers are pushing changes to how Paraguay’s gaming regulator issues licenses

The government of Paraguay is under pressure to change gambling legislation to terminate gaming regulator Conajzar’s authority to issue gaming licenses in the country. Fourteen members of the Chamber of Deputies demand that the country amend current legislation, contending that the agency used its powers to give Daruma SAM a monopoly in the Paraguay gaming market.

Conajzar is under scrutiny by the deputies for granting exclusive licenses for the lottery, sports betting and pools to the same company for five years. Their recommendation aims to amend articles 8, 11, 13, 21, 22 and 23 of Paraguay’s gambling ordinance.

The action comes after an inquiry was undertaken by the National Competition Commission (CONACOM, for its Spanish acronym) into a bidding process to operate a national sports betting franchise throughout all 17 of Paraguay’s departments.

The process, completed at the end of last year, saw several disqualified bidders issue a legal challenge, which claimed that the rules levied by Conajzar were in favor of Daruma SAM. This company owns and operates the retail betting brand Aposta.LA in Gran Asunción.

Daruma SAM discredits suggestions that it plotted with Conajzar to win the tender. However, deputies claim that Paraguay’s Gambling Law doesn’t authorize Conajzar to grant federal license concessions. They also contend that the agency’s actions conflict with the Paraguayan constitution, which forbids creating monopolies.

Paraguay’s newly-elected president, Santiago Peña, has mandated significant changes at Conajzar since taking office three months ago. He began by appointing Carlos Augusto Liseras to replace María Galván del Puerto as the president of Conajzar.

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