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Uruguay – Uruguay under attack from online lobby

By - 10 September 2014

According to statements released by The President of the National Federation of Uruguayan Gaming (FENAJU), international lobbying group are targeting Uruguay in order to change its online gaming laws.

Leonel Revelese said that there is a “major lobbying offensive in the world and the region, to introduce online gaming in Uruguay.”

Mr. Revelese assured press that a battle to introduce online gaming into Uruguay had been ongoing for some time and that the growth of online gaming has “enormous and negative repressions on Uruguayan society.” The union official also said that the online gaming industry puts thousands of jobs at risk and gave no resources back to the state. As a result, he said that he had “no choice” but to formally denounce their actions to the Ministry of Economy as well as the Casino and Lottery Boards.

Referring to Free trade zones in Uruguay which are exploited by the State, or by private companies Mr. Revelese said: “We have already repeatedly warned that this it is unreasonable and unlawful that online gaming is being authorised in free trade zones. When the issue is already grand scale they say that it has to be regulated but when online gaming is already present its impossible to regulate.”

Mr. Revelese went onto to say that he will be making the official complaint this week and hopes that it will “open up the issue for an important debate on the politics of gaming and above all what types of gaming are in the hands of the state.”

New laws are clearly needed in Uruguay to regulate online gaming. In March last year the Director of the Uruguayan Gaming Board Javier Chá has called for urgent changes to Uruguay’s gaming laws, blaming the government’s lack of intervention for the rise of illegal gaming.

Mr. Chá said that it was ‘imperative’ that parliament make decisions regarding what games should be permitted in Uruguay and should draft a clear legal framework which would make what is legal or illegal gaming absolutely clear as well as the types of sanctions that should be applied.

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