Conajzar reports 8% fall in gambling revenue in first four months of 2021

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Paraguay gambling regulator Conajzar has reported an 8% fall in revenues during the first four months of the year from the gambling sector. The organization noted a total of $5.2m in receipts versus $5.6m year-on-year.

The results also include a $1m drop in revenues when compared to Conajzar’s income from games in the first four months of 2019, the last normal January-April trading period that the Paraguayan industry experienced before the onset of the pandemic.

According to a report by local outlet La Nacional, the average pre-pandemic monthly revenue was $1.4m, although this figure drastically dropped since April 2020, with just $94k generated the following month.

Additionally, according to the Head of the local regulator José Antonio Ortiz, the industry is currently experiencing 75% of its usual levels of trade. However, the sector is on its way to recovery as Paraguay is still undergoing major restrictions due to COVID-19.

By provision of Law 1,016/97, 10% of Conajzar’s income must be transferred to the National Treasury, 30% to governments, 30% to governances and the rest to the Directorate of Charity and Social Assistance (Diben).

Earlier this month, Ortiz discussed a new resolution by the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, summoning sportsbooks suspected of illegal activity to a preliminary hearing. He argued that the move will help combat illegal gambling which negatively impacts revenues sent to social organizations such as Diben.

“Besides the complaints that we make [to the Public Ministry] that help close [illegal] shops, sites appear on the internet, where unauthorized bets are offered. That has repercussions: it hurts the concessionaire and its contribution to the Treasury,” he said.