Paraguay – Paraguay’s gaming tax reaches record highBy Phil - 18 April 2016
The National Gaming Commission of Paraguay (CONAJZAR) has recorded the highest amount of gaming tax revenue ever collected for March.
According to the latest figures released by the commission to the treasury, tax revenue amounted to G12bn (US$2.2m) 46.4 per cent more than the same month last year. The amount also beats the previous record of March 2012 when the board managed to collect G10.7bn
The increased revenue will mean a significant increase in resources for the Department of Social Welfare and Assistance (DIBEN), which receives 30 per cent of gaming tax revenue. The remaining share is distributed to the departmental governments (30 per cent), the municipal governments (30 per cent) while the remaining (10 per cent) goes to the Treasury.
The improved results are down to tighter controls over the industry. CONAJZAR has implemented a series of additional controls over gaming nationwide and also increased scrutiny over operators as part of a wider government crackdown designed to increase tax revenue and regulate the industry further. This is despite a small budget and a shortage of staff.
Increased supervision is also aimed at paving the way for a number of important new developments in the industry as the gaming landscape in the region changes. If Brazil changes its gaming laws then Paraguay’s casinos, especially on the border, could see decreasing visitor numbers as it is estimated that just over 50 per cent of people who visit the casinos located on the border are Brazilian.
In addition the industry looks set to expand significantly. In June 2015 the board announced plans to open up the bidding process for casinos nationwide. Meanwhile the licensing process for the construction of a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in the city of Ciudad del Este will be initiated in the first half of this year. Hard Rock International first announced plans to install a casino and hotel in the city of Ciudad del Este in 2014. The hotel will, it is believed, have 250 rooms while the casino will house 500 slot machines and 30 gaming tables.