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Paraguay – Rejected bidders to take board to court over sports betting tender

By - 5 December 2022

The consortium made up of B-Gaming Paraguay and Gambling S.A, which was disqualified from the latest sports betting tender, announced that it would take the matter to court after the National Gaming Commission (Conajzar) awarded the single sports betting license to Daruma Sam (Apostala).

B-Gaming Paraguay and Gambling S.A. expressed their absolute rejection of the board’s decision saying that they would use all means at their disposal to reverse it.

The consortium had already filed a reconsideration appeal with Conajzar. In its proposal, the company stated that its offer should stand as it was in accordance with articles 1196 and 1199 of the constitution, for which reason the financial capacity and experience of the parent company should be recognized. However, Conajzar limited itself to referring to the terms and conditions, which only allowed for local companies with the financial capacity and specific experience in the local gambling market to take part.

A total of six companies had requested the Bidding Terms and Conditions, but only three submitted their offers. The formal opening of bids took place at the Conajzar headquarters. 

The three companies that submitted bids were Daruma Sam S.A. (Apostala); the consortium B-Gaming Sucursal Paraguay and Gambling S.A. and a company owned by Luis Carlos Alder Benítez (under the name Playtech), whose legal representative is former Foreign Minister Rubén Melgarejo Lanzoni.

When it came to economic offers, Daruma Sam S.A. offered a canon of 22%, while the consortium BGaming – Gambling S.A offered 27%, and Playtech offered 23%.

When it came to the companies that did not meet the requirements Conajzar specified on a point by point basis why they were not awarded the contract. B-Gaming Sucursal Paraguay and Gambling S.A were disqualified due to lack of “legal, financial and experience,” the board said.

The financial part of the tender is only one aspect of the process as experience in the area was also taken into account.  One of the criticisms aimed at the tender was that the process had within it a “catch 22” type clause whereby only a national company with experience in the field would be allowed to operate. Since there is only one the current licence holder this would disqualify other companies from competing.

Local company Daruma Sam was granted the exclusive right to offer sports betting ahead of the last FIFA World Cup for five years. In September Conajzar opened the call for Public Tender No. 01/2022 opening up the process for the next five.

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