The President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, has signed into law a measure that officially restricts the installation of slot machines outside gaming halls. Law 6903 also voids the contract that the local regulator Conajzar had signed with the company iCrop to manage slots in the country.
The new law aims to prevent the installation of slot machines in shops so children and young people don’t have free access to gambling. From this week, any business other than gaming halls or casinos will be banned from installing and operating slot machines.
Contrary to how the machines previously worked in Paraguay, municipalities will now be in charge of the concessions and permits to exploit games of chance, but in coordination with Conajzar, as the project establishes.
The municipalities will analyze the offers of interested companies and define which one is the best and whether it complies with the regulations in place.
Furthermore, Law 6903 describes that the municipalities will have the power to impose fines, which will represent a minimum salary. In case of several violations, the fine will be multiplied and the machines will be destroyed.
In order to control prize payments, there must be a database to identify players, the machine they used, and the value of the initial bet, among other details.
The measure had obtained the final support of the Senate in the first week of April after it was sent to the Chamber of Deputies with modifications. Following the second approval, the law had 90 days to get the nod from Abdo Benítez, although the confirmation only took two weeks.
It should also be noted that the local regulator had signed a contract with the iCrop company to delegate its functions to enable machines in local stores. Based on the contract, the justice filed charges against the former Head of Conajzar, José Ortíz Báez, for breach of trust in the investigation of irregularities when granting licenses of games of chance and slot machines.