The Paraguayan Gaming Commission (CONAJZAR) has announced plans to implement the online regulation of casinos.
Head of CONAJZAR Javier Balbuena said that the commission was carrying out a preliminary study into the issue and was considering monitoring a number of gaming operations online in different regions throughout the nation.
The news comes on the back of falling tax revenues which have fallen sharply over recent months and growing concern that the gaming control board is currently understaffed. Branding the current gaming regulations as “obsolete” Mr Balbuena told local press that the future will “require online control from experts in information systems so that tax assessments may be carried out online.” This will become increasingly necessary, he said, as the government could soon be implementing a new tax regime for casinos.
The online monitoring of casinos will also help address the issue of staff shortages within the gaming control board itself. More staff will undoubtedly be needed to ensure full regulation of the industry which looks increasingly likely to grow over the coming years. According to Mr Balbuena, there are currently only twelve people working within the gaming board and it is hoped that with new measures on the way that it will increase to at least twenty by 2014.
More staff will be needed as the government is currently looking into opening up the market further to operators. The feasibility study, which will be completed at the end of this year, is looking at the implications of allowing a number of large scale casinos in the regions of Asunción, Central, Alto Paraná and Itapúa. For now it is unknown how many licences could be granted for each region.
Land based casinos have been permitted in Paraguay since 1997 Although casinos have been permitted now for almost fifteen years the casino industry remains underdeveloped with little foreign investment in the industry and illegal gaming has remained rampant. However, Paraguay could prove to be a future bright spot for operators as the government seeks to further regulate the industry.