Revenues for the gaming industry continue to show an increase after The National Gaming Commission (CONAJZAR) transferred five per cent more to the National Treasury in the first two months of this year compared to the same period in 2017.
According to data from the Ministry of Finance, during the first two months of 2018 CONAJZAR recorded a total income of G. 21,266m, an amount that went beyond G.20,247 million that the gaming board collected between January and February 2017.
The increased revenue will mean an increase in resources for the Department of Social Welfare and Assistance (DIBEN), which receives 30 per cent of gaming tax revenue. The remaining share is distributed to the departmental governments (30 per cent), the municipal governments (30 per cent) while the remaining (10 per cent) goes to the Treasury.
The amount that CONAJZAR will hand over to the National Treasury for the first two months of this year stands at G2,126.6 million. While the amount transferred to the treasury in the first two months of 2017 stood at G.2,024.7 million.
During fiscal year 2017, CONAJZAR managed to increase its collection by 3.5 per cent compared to 2016, after collecting a total of G.121.199 million and surpassing G.117.098 million in revenue which was registered in 2016.
While revenues are on the rise it has been a somewhat turbulent few months for the board. In February, the Comptroller General of the Republic of Paraguay (CGR) recommended that the bidding process for sports betting be declared void. The CGR also criticised the gaming board for ignoring the recommendation to immediately suspend the licensing process until it had issued its opinion on the issue. The CGR believes that the tender was monopolistic in design and is therefore incompatible with the constitution. In April last year, the CGR had suggested ending the process but in November – the same month the envelopes of the tender were opened – the Comptroller’s Office requested that the process be stopped, but this request was ignored by CONAJZAR.
The CGR made its recommendations in February after finding a number of inconsistencies during the licensing process and has asked that the licence awarded to Daruma Sam (Apostala) be revoked. In the midst of the controversy the head of CONAJZAR Javier Balbuena, announced his decision to leave office in March and has since been replaced by Oscar Ramón Portillo Martínez.