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Paraguay – Gambling board sets deadline for slot machine removal

By - 23 January 2024

Municipalities must remove slot machines accessible to minors before January 27th. According to the National Gaming Commission (Conajzar), all municipalities in the country are required to remove slot machines installed in public spaces and accessible to minors before January 27th – the start of the school year.

The removal of slots in public spaces has already taken place in the city of Encarnación the capital of the Itapúa Department. Wilian Amarilla, Legal Advisor of the Municipality of Encarnación, told press that machines that do not meet the new requirements set down by the president will be confiscated and destroyed. However, those operating slots on their premises are still able to approach the municipality to regularize their situation and comply with the new regulations put in place by Conajzar.

In January the president of Paraguay Santiago Peña signed a decree which prohibits slot machines in locations not dedicated exclusively to gambling. From now on slots will not be permitted in bars, grocery stores, bars, bakeries as well as other establishments. The main objective of the bill is to prevent minors from gambling and eradicate gambling from the streets.

The objective of the Law No. 6.903/21 is to protect children and adolescents from the risks that may arise from slot machines that operate outside of casinos as slots in shops and small businesses are widespread in Paraguay. It also establishes rules covering the monitoring and control of slot machines in order to prevent money laundering.

Last week Rocío Vallejo, through a video released by her party Patria Querida, issued a reminder that this regulation must be enforced 30 days after the decree was signed by the president and urged municipalities to enforce the ruling.

 She also referred to the penalties that will be imposed by Conajzar, mentioning that the law establishes sanctions for each machine found in public spaces, equivalent to the legal minimum wage.

“If there is a recurrence, the fine will double to two current minimum wages, and thus progressively increasing the fine. Additionally, municipalities have the authority to seize and destroy slot machines, so gentlemen, the law must be complied with,” she said.

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