International edition
September 27, 2020

Comptroller General shows disapproval

Paraguay: Gambling regulator's decision to extend gaming licenses draws criticism

Paraguay: Gambling regulator's decision to extend gaming licenses draws criticism
Paraguay’s gambling authority – CONAJZAR (Comisión Nacional de Juegos de Azar), has been scolded by the country’s Comptroller General in relation to the Commission’s recent announcement that certain gaming licenses would be extended.
Paraguay | 10/13/2016

Paraguay’s gambling authority – CONAJZAR (Comisión Nacional de Juegos de Azar), has been scolded by the country’s Comptroller General in relation to the Commission’s recent announcement that certain gaming licenses would be extended.

T

he Comptroller General is a government-backed office responsible for auditing government funds and overseeing other government bodies’ activities. The country’s gambling authority was criticized for providing insufficient information about the license extension process and for not offering gambling operators fixed dates with regard to the validity of their licenses so as to make sure that they are fully compliant with existing regulations.

As reported by local media, the application for the extension of provisional licenses is now underway.

A report conducted by the Comptroller General showed that there were companies to have been authorized with temporary licenses back in 2003. What is more, it appears that there are 10 gambling operators that are currently offering gambling options in Paraguay under temporary licenses granted by CONAJZAR.

Meanwhile, tax revenue from gambling operations has grown significantly over the past several years. According to recent data posted by the Paraguayan gambling regulator, the amount of PYG10.2 billion was generated in tax revenue in September.

The reported figure represented a new all-time high for the country. It is also important to note that up until last year, tax revenue barely surpassed an average of PYG8 billion.

CONAJZAR has been lobbying for certain changes in the country’s gambling regulations for some time now. Javier Balbuena, President of the gambling regulator, has recently told local media that such adjustments to the existing regulatory framework will make Paraguay more attractive to investors. The official further noted that the country taxes gambling at rates lower than those in neighboring countries, which is a significant advantage for it to draw more international investors.

A bill that calls for making the Commission an autonomous body is another legislative initiative the gambling regulator has been involved in over the past two years. Winning such a legal status will make it possible for CONAJZAR to manage its own budget and to increase the number of people it employs for better effectiveness, among other things. It seems that the proposed legislation has been supported by the gambling executives branch. It is currently reviewed by the Paraguayan Congress. At present, CONAJZAR is part of Paraguay’s Ministry of Finance.

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