Paraguay May Unlock Online Gambling Opportunities

After several weeks of delays, Paraguayan Deputies are set to discuss amendments to Law No. 1016/1997, which regulates games of chance. Scheduled for Wednesday, June 12, the proposal aims to dismantle the current monopoly on issuing gaming permits for sports betting, betting pools, and other games of chance.

Deputies argue that the existing law needs modernization and should not promote a monopoly in gaming and betting licenses. The proposal states, “The commercial dynamics of gambling have developed much faster than the ‘unconstitutional’ legal regime that to date governs gambling.”

A significant change in the proposal is found in Article 8, which specifies, “Concessions will be granted to the 3 (three) best bidders presented as a minimum and that they conform to the rules issued by the competent authority, which will include the power to increase the canon. Decisions to award national games of chance require the approval of the Executive Branch.”

This change contrasts with the current legislation, which grants concessions only to the single best offer. Deputy Adrián “Billy” Vaesken (PLRA, C), who proposed the bill, recently met with Chartist colleagues, who have shown support. However, the Chartists, holding the majority in the Lower House, have not committed as a whole.

Industry Response and Recommendations

Last month, the Paraguayan Chamber of Gaming (CPJA), the Paraguayan Association of Gaming Operators (APOJA), and the Paraguayan Association of Gaming Entrepreneurs (APEJA) sent a letter to President Santiago Peña titled “Gambling is not gambling.” The letter proposed maintaining the Conajzar and revising current laws to create a competitive regulatory framework that integrates technology to promote the market.

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Dilip Chenoy, Chairman of the Bharat Web3 Association, emphasized the need for compliance: “We call upon all industry participants to strictly adhere to laws related to anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).”

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