ccording to Conajzar President, the approval of games of chance legislation in Brazil, where casinos are currently forbidden, would not affect Paraguay, because national taxes are lower in the country.
Balbuena believes that the challenge of the country is to lead the way and amend the law 1016/97, that regulates games of chance, in order to expand the number of investments.
Conajzar does not agree with the last paragraph of the Project that indicates that contracts could be renewed without the need of a tender process
Balbuena adds that there are several comments regarding the possible casino legislation in Brazil, some of which point that it could have negative effects for Paraguay if casinos are installed near the Paraguayan border.
He also said that the country is still an interesting place for all types of investment, as well as casinos and other games of chance, because it has the smallest tax burden in the region. “In Brazil taxes are high; when investing in casinos, on top of paying special taxes for gaming, you have to continue paying the same taxes than any other commercial activity; in this sense, Paraguay has an advantage for investors and, in Conajzar, we are analyzing what measures can we take on the matter,” he explained.
Balbuena also explained that one of the constraints is the Law 1016/97, because it considers the possibility to approve casino tenders only in several regions. The norm points that casinos can only be installed in Asuncion and Alto Paraná, Itapúa, Amambay, Cordillera, Misiones and Central. Only Asuncion and the regions with more than 250,000 inhabitants will be allowed to have more than one casino.
He said that, due to the fact that the law has not considered other departments such as Canindeyú or Concepción, the authorization cannot be granted, despite several requirements have been received in order to operate games of chance in those places, including Chaco.
He reminded that Representative Oscar Tuma presented a bill that does not consider restrictions and he added that, according to Conajzar, casinos could be placed in different areas.
However, Conajzar does not agree with the last paragraph of the Project that indicates that contracts could be renewed without the need of a tender process. “Conajzar has a larger project that organizes the games of chance businesses in a better way. And we could have Las Vegas-type casinos, which are intended for Ciudad del Este. Not small casinos but hotel resorts,” he said.
Besides, the new law will establish the possibility to grant longer deadlines, online control system, tax rates, among other issues.