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Paraguay – Gambling revenue increases as board cracks down on street slots

By - 29 January 2024

According to The National Gambling Commission (Conajzar), revenue generated by the industry was up for the months of September, October, November, and December 2023 and overall compared to 2022.

During the last four months of last year the board reported that it managed to collect G. 55,920,988,877 (USD7.5m) compared to G. 50,740,605,567 in 2022 (USD6.8m), an increase of G. 5,180,383,310 (USD698.000) since the new administration, led by Dr. Carlos Liseras took office. In 2023, Conajzar collected a total of G. 158,080,745,324 (USD21.3m) compared to G. 143,734,633,338, (USD 19.2m) in 2022.

Carlos Liseras told local news outlet La Nación that the reason for the upswing was due to a tightening of control over illegal gambling and a clampdown on slot machines present on the streets.

“We are doing a good job removing slot machines from the streets. Therefore, people go and play in legally authorized venues. That’s why there has been an increase since our administration took office,” he said.

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 street gambling. All municipalities in the country were given until January 27th to ensure that slots were off 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. In April 2022 President Mario Abdo Benítez enacted the law after the measure had been approved in the Senate at the end of March. Although it had already been passed certain aspects of the law were missing. President Peña’s decree means that the law is now in force and the respective controls can now be carried out by the municipal governments and the board. Slots found to be operating outside non gambling designated zones will be destroyed.

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