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Paraguay – New regulations in Paraguay to curb illegal gambling

By - 27 February 2015

The Executive branch of the Paraguayan government has established new rules in order to reduce the rise of illegal gambling.

The new laws give the Paraguayan Gaming Commission (CONAJZAR) more power when it comes to closing gaming halls and sets a number of minimum requirements that gaming halls must meet in order to be provided with a licence. It also gives the body more power when it comes to regulation on a municipal and state level.

Horacio Cartes, Legal advisor to the President said that Decree No. 3,083 / 2015 is “aimed at reducing the indiscriminate and irregular proliferation of gambling halls,” and that it would provide a greater level of legal certainty for licensed operators and customers alike.
“The Government has taken into account in the creation of this regulatory system, the need to promote programs backing responsible gaming and gambling prevention in order to achieve an orderly and responsible cultural development in gaming, thus avoiding the harmful consequences associated with it,” he said.

He went onto say that: “In this context, the Executive authorises the National Commission on Gaming (CONAJZAR) to plan public policy when it comes to the prevention of gaming addiction and responsibility in gaming as well as corporate social responsibility for adoption by companies engaged in the exploitation of gaming.”

The minister also highlighted the fact that the decree sets down a number of minimum legal requirements for operating gaming including both the characteristics of gaming rooms and the types of premises where gambling may take place as well as the technical specifications of systems which must also be in place. It also rules that gaming must not be aimed at minors and that gambling establishments must be a minimum distance of five hundred feet from schools, colleges and universities.

Paraguay could prove to be a future bright spot for operators as the government seeks to further regulate the industry. In October 2014 the Paraguayan government announced plans to retrofit casino contracts so that operators were responsible for enforcing a wide number of player protection measures. Then in November CONAJZAR announced plans to implement the online regulation of casinos.

Land based casinos have been permitted in Paraguay since 1997. Although casinos have been permitted now for almost 15 years the casino industry remains underdeveloped with little foreign investment in the industry. This looks likely to change with the recent announcement that Hard Rock International is planning to install a casino and hotel in the city of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. The hotel will have 250 rooms while the casino will house 500 slot machines and 30 gaming tables. Set to begin construction before the end of this year it could well herald a new era for gaming in Paraguay.

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