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Uruguay – Uruguay sends proposals for New Gaming Control Board to Parliament

By - 27 March 2014

The Uruguayan government has sent a draft law to parliament which would create a new gaming control board.

The project aims to provide a comprehensive framework which would see a major restructure when it comes to the way gaming is controlled by the state.

According to the draft of the new law, the government seeks to create a new governing body called the National Management of State Gambling and Casinos (Administración Nacional de Casinos y Juegos de Apuestas del Estado) which would exercise state control over all types of gambling.

The new measures are designed to capitalise on the recent growth of gaming in Uruguay over recent years. According to the most recent figures released by government, bets made on lotteries, pools betting casinos and slot parlours combined stood at US$900m in 2013 meaning that the gaming industry in Uruguay has now seen year on year growth for the last ten years.

The project confirms the state monopoly over gambling and betting, including casinos, horserace betting , lotteries, football pools as well as interactive and phone betting. It would also give the new gambling control board the responsibility to grant casinos license as well as enforce closures replacing the current National Administrative Board of Casinos (Dirección General de Casinos).

The new proposals also seek to create a new Betting and Gaming National Comptroller’s Office (Dirección Nacional de Contralor de Apuestas y Juegos de Azar) which would be responsible for the supervision of the quality of accounting and financial reporting of State Lotteries. This body would replace the Uruguayan Board of Lotteries and Pools Betting (Dirección Nacional de Loterías y Quinielas).

It is hoped that the new law will have major repercussions on the growth of illegal gaming which has been on the rise in Uruguay over recent years. Although there are no official figures it is estimated that there are around 20,000 illegal slot machines in Uruguay which are located in shops and small businesses. Combined they generate around US$3.2m a week. According to the new law penalties of up to three years in prison could be put in place for those found to be operating slot machines without a licence once the new law is passed.


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