International edition
June 16, 2021

In responde to Government's move to ban slots in clubs and bars

Uruguayan electronic game operators to sue the State for us$ 10 million

(Uruguay).- Next week, the Uruguayan Association of Manufacturers and Operators of Electronic Games (AUFOJE) will present a lawsuit against the State for us$ 10 million for damages, violation of the law of competence and persecution.

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t is in response to the initiative to the project that President Tabaré Vázquez sent to the Parliament, in order to forbid slots in clubs, pubs and bars. Last Tuesday, Tabaré Vázquez sent a bill to the parliament, that seeks to forbid slots in clubs, pubs and bars, understanding that this activity "would be generating different damages to society.” These are: the lack of guarantees and controls with regards to the amount paid and the eventual adulteration of the result of the game, the important participation of underaged people and a damage for the state.

Gerardo Dibbern, representative of the association, declared that, which this project, the state wants to have "the monopoly of the activity as a fact and not as a legal right,” when it already has a dominant position, something that should not be like this because the country has a law of free competence.”

Besides, the representative of AUFOJE indicated that the association had to deal a great number of lawsuits that the Casino Direcion started against it, something they consider  as an “arbitrary persecution". "There are more than 34 favourable judicial reports supporting our position,” which establish that the commercial activity of the slots does not infringe any law, explained Dibbern.

In this sense, he said that the State has also violated the "non bis in viden" principle, which affirms that no one can be judged twice for the same circumstances. He considers that, this way, the state is totally abusing of the penal law and its dominant position.

He also indicated that they have suffered damages, because once they seized their machines for a year and, after that, they returned them in "very bad conditions.” Besides, he assured that the casino director always refers to the slots of the association as "illegal", "and in a democratic and republican state, the judicial power is in charge of saying which activities are legal and which are not.”

“It has to finish so far and we have to conclude this series of lawsuits, so now we will start a lawsuit,” the representative expressed, who also added that the state is acting in an arbitrary way, near inconstitutionality.

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