The President of Paraguay’s Gaming Commission Javier Balbuena has announced plans to award the winning tender for two casinos in Asunción and the Central Department.
The winner will need to guarantee infrastructure investment of approximately US$10m amongst other requirements.
“For the casino in Asunción we are asking for US$S10m while Central this will be 20 per cent to 30 per cent less due to the market there,” he said.
Operators will have three years to have infrastructure and other amenities in place and will be granted a further extension of six months to complete the infrastructure for the casino, he said. Licenses will be valid for ten years. Mr Balbuena went onto say that the winning operator will pay a monthly fee of G.450m (U.S79,897.5000) plus 12 percent of revenues less money awarded back in prizes. Once the proposals have been received the board will decide on the winner in the next forty days.
There is currently only one casino in Asuncion, the Casino de Asunción operated by Worest Asunción, while in the Central region there are no casinos after the Yacht and Golf Club stopped running in 2010. The casino has been operation for just over a year.
Land-based casinos have been permitted in Paraguay since 1997 but the casino industry remains underdeveloped with little foreign investment in the industry and illegal gaming has remained rampant.
However there have been a number of important developments this year. In June CONAJZAR announced plans to discuss the bidding process for casinos in three departments in Paraguay beginning with the Central Department which will lead to the generation of jobs and increased resources for the state. The Executive branch of the Paraguayan government has also established new rules in order to reduce the rise of illegal gambling.
The new laws gives 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 license. It also gives the body more power when it comes to regulation on a municipal and state level.
In addition Paraguay looks to be on the point of promoting itself as a gaming destination. Paraguay’s Minister of Tourism and Mr Balbuena recently signed an interagency cooperation agreement that aims to coordinate action, knowledge, criteria and efforts to promote the development of tourism based around gaming.