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Paraguay – Lawmakers to discuss changes to gambling laws

By - 20 November 2023

Paraguay’s Chamber of Deputies  has announced that it will hold a public hearing to debate a bill  that aims to update  the country’s gambling law.

Fourteen deputies presented the  bill that would  change  Paraguay’s gambling law (Law No.1,016/97)  earlier this month. The lawmakers put forward a number of modifications that would end the way the law allowed for monopolies in certain sectors of the gaming industry.

The Legislation and Codification Commission, headed by Deputy Jorge Ávalos Mariño will address the bill this week.

The bill modifies articles 8, 11, 13, 21, 22 and 23 of the law. The document seeks to correct the law which allows for a monopoly in certain cases which is in contravention of the National Constitution.

In a statement published at the time the group of lawmakers said:

“The National Gaming Commission (Conajzar) has been awarding the exploitation of national games such as sports betting, pools, lotteries, among others, exclusively, that is, monopolistic, to a single company for a period of 5 years.”

They added that, for several years, those involved in the industry had expressed the need to update the law.

The most significant modification to the act is outlined in Art. 8 where it is established that: “The concessions will be granted to the 3 best bidders presented at least and that comply with the rules dictated by the competent authority, which will include the power to increase the fee.”

There has been increasing pressure to update Paraguay’s gambling laws. In January The National Competition Commission  Conacom  recommended that the government review Paraguay’s gambling law because it allowed for licence holders to hold a monopoly over instants, pools, sports betting and casinos.

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