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Paraguay- Congress calls for probe into sports betting tender

By - 30 January 2023

The Permanent Commission of the Congress of Paraguay has approved a request asking for further  information  from the National Commission of Games of Chance (Conajzar) over the controversial results of it latest sports betting tender.

In December Conajzar  published a statement defending its decision to award the single sports betting licence to Daruma Sam for the second time. According to the board the tender was carried out legally and transparently. In January the executive branch backed the decision made by the board and awarded the operation of the single sports betting licence to Daruma Sam S.A. (Apostala), for another five years, through Decree No. 8,735. President Mario Abdo Benítez signed the decree supporting the decision of the National Gaming Commission (Conajzar), headed by María Galván.

However the committee still wants answers.  In September Conajzar opened the call for Public Tender No. 01/2022 opening up the process for the next five. The consortium made up of B-Gaming Paraguay and Gambling S.A, which was disqualified from the latest sports betting tender, announced that it would take the matter to court after the Conajzar awarded the single sports betting license to Daruma Sam (Apostala).

The current operator proposed the lowest percentage for the payment of the canon corresponding to the exploitation of the business: while it offered 22 per cent, its rivals in the tender, Consorcio B-Gaming and Gambling S.A. and PlayTech from Paraguay, had proposed 23 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.

In November, and in the face of criticism of the company, the Director of Apostala, Manuel Lugo, highlighted that the company had “innovated in a market that was previously completely informal” and assured that “it can give even more to the country.”

Regarding the proposal for the next five years, the head of IT for the company, Fernando Ribeiro, projected contributions of almost 300 billion guaraníes in royalties over the next five years.

“This financial projection is much higher in amount than the most optimistic proposals of our competition, and it is not a random calculation, but a projection based on our sales history and the capacity of our people,” he said referring to the figures which had been presented to Conajzar during the tender process.

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