Ecuador Takes a Surprising Decision on Casino Expansion

In a vote held in the beginning of 2024, the Ecuadorian government proposed to restore casinos and carry on with gambling activities. But the administration has retracted this effort following a recent ruling.

The issue on the potential reopening of casinos and gaming halls was originally included in the Constitutional Court vote, but it has since been removed. President Daniel Noboa revised his strategy in response to the growing violence in the nation, having originally intended to bring back gambling through a vote. Amidst growing security concerns, the administration decided it was improper to start a fresh gambling discussion.

From Gambling to Public Safety

Recognizing the urgency of the problems Ecuador faces, President Noboa underlined that important topics like restoring peace, fighting terrorist organizations, bolstering institutionalism, and creating jobs should immediately take center stage in the public discourse. The government’s goals have strategically shifted as seen by the decision to drop the plan to reopen the casino.

The government reversed course in response to growing criticism from a number of political organizations who voiced worries about possible money laundering by drug traffickers using reopened casinos. This concern prompts a reassessment of the original idea since it raises problems regarding the relationship between gaming establishments and illegal activity.

The plan was first motivated by the desire to restore a sizable amount of the 25,000 employment that had been lost in Ecuador following the closure of 160 casinos in 2011. The laws of Ecuador now forbid bookies and physical casinos, but because there are no particular rules controlling internet gambling, there is a legal gap that permits it.

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The decision to scrap the proposed casino reopening shows that Ecuador has carefully considered both public safety concerns and economic recovery as it negotiates the complicated regulatory environment around gaming.


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