In an effort to protect minors and prevent underage gambling, a resolution banning slot machines outside of specifically designated gambling zones has been issued by Paraguay’s National Gaming Commission (CONAJZAR), according to G3 Newswire.

The new rules issued in the central South American  country ban slot machines from small business, such as groceries, chemists, and shops. The resolution that sets out to safeguard the rights of minors and aims to set up the “parameters in which gaming should be adjusted on a departmental and municipal level,” was signed by CONAJZAR, along with the National Secretariat for Children and Adolescents (SNNA) and the Paraguayan Organisation for Inter Municipal Cooperation (OPACI), according to the report. Governments failing to comply with the new rules and regulations will no longer be eligible to receive tax revenue from the gaming industry.

The new rules state that gambling machines may only be authorized by municipal governments if “certain conditions” are met. Slot machines can only be situated in special zones which ban minors from entering; gaming machines which specifically target minors, such as machines depicting animals or animated characters or play children’s music, are prohibited; slot machines made from flammable material are not allowed; and the new law also bans slot machines from public spaces such as public streets, plazas, and or sidewalks and parks. The new regulations also state that a gaming venue may not be situated within 500 meters of any educational facility such as a university, college, or school. And effective as of the decree’s publication, departmental or municipal governments may not authorize any new slots within 500 meters of an already established casino.

Javier Balbuena, the head of the Gaming Commission, welcomed the news and said that, “In recent times there has been a kind of anarchy on the part of the municipal governments and the private sector because there are unauthorized and clandestine machines everywhere in front of schools with machines aimed at minors,” as reported by the news agency. Balbuena said that the new rules would help to stop slot machines from being used improperly in the future.

Currently, there are three cities in Paraguay with legal gambling, with the largest being Asunción, which has one gambling facility.

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