In Paraguay, the head of the nation’s La Comision Nacional de Juegos de Azar (CONAJZAR) regulator has reportedly declared that his body is currently facing a ‘titanic struggle’ to stamp out illegal gambling and needs additional government funding.

According to a report from G3Newswire, Javier Balbuena stated that the Paraguayan regulator regularly closes illegal gaming venues but that these subsequently re-open ‘the next day somewhere else’.

“Our physical capacity does not allow us to cover every place in the country,” Balbuena reportedly told G3Newswire. “We have closed more than 20 illegal gaming rooms. It is a titanic struggle.”

G3Newswire reported that Balbuena hopes that his revelation will help to persuade lawmakers to ratify proposed legislation that would make the gaming regulator an autonomous body independent of the Finance Ministry with its own budget. He has additionally called for more funding after explaining that CONAJZAR is critically under-staffed with only 15 full-time employees.

Balbuena moreover reportedly explained that there is currently a serious shortage of controls over sportsbetting in Latin America and that match-fixing on numerous sports including soccer regularly occurs. He purportedly used the case of Tobias Vargas as an example after the Club Sportivo Luqueno goalkeeper was alleged to have won around $8,800 last month by successfully wagering on his team to lose a game in which he was participating against fellow Paraguayan top-flight side Club Cerro Porteno.

“There are players who earn a low salary and with a bet they could triple what they earn in a month,” Balbuena reportedly told G3Newswire.

Balbuena reportedly detailed that he had met with officials from the Paraguayan Football Association on numerous occasions in order to discuss ways to prevent match-fixing but that these could only be implemented after new legislation was passed giving his body the money and powers its needs.

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