International edition
September 19, 2021

Before the inaction of the authorities

Illegal casinos grow in Paraguay

(Paraguay).- The gaming industry has had an enormous growth in Paraguay with the proliferation of online casinos which, illegally, have table games under the Texas Hold’;Em Póker modality.


lthough it exists a state entity in charge of regulating this activity, which is the National Games of Chance Commission (Conajzar); Law 1017/97 brings councils the power to authorize the operation of online games as long as they adapt to the legal norm; in the case of card games, a license granted by Conajzar is required.

According to the current norm, just legal casinos may operate with live table games in its facilities. However, the entity made an exemption and granted a provisional license to Bingo Guaraní, belonging to the company Yem SA, to operate with such modalito. This company has, as its main shareholder, politician Yamil Esgaib.

When consulted on the matter, former head of Conajzar, Cristhian Vera, admitted that he granted that authorization.

Within the boom of Texas Hold’Em Póker, it was formed the first Paraguayan Association of Poker Players (Prajupa), whose president is Korean president Yong "Juan" Yu, who last week habilitated a modern center on his own, located in neighborhood San Vicente de Asunción. Its facilities are located in a four-level facility, totally equipped with offices, secretary, four bars, on top of three poker centers with private car parking. Yu acknowledges that they did not ask for the authorization of Conajzar. "We have nothing to do with Conajzar. First of all, they do not give us the license, they grant gaming licenses, so we needn’t go to Conajzar to ask for a license or pay a fee”, he affirmed.

Yu assures that the poker hall operates “to practise the poker sport, to boost the teaching and training of poker. It is a club where partners come to have fun and play, and we supply the service,” he added.

He explained that, to habilitate the place, they were granted the corresponding license from the City Council and the environment license.

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