Plans to award the winning proposal for two casinos in Asunción and the Central Department have been announced by Javier Balbuena, the president of Paraguay’s Gaming Commission.
According to Balbuena, an infrastructure investment of approximately US$10 million is among various requirements, and operators will be given a three-year time frame to have them in place, and allotted an additional six months for infrastructure completion of the casino. Other conditions include a monthly fee of G.450m (U.S$79,897.5000) in addition to 12 percent of the revenues minus awarded prize money to be paid by the winning operator. Licenses issued for both casinos will be valid for ten years. The board will make its decision to award the casinos within forty days of the proposal submissions.
The Casino de Asunción has been in business for just over a year and is operated by Worest Asunción; it is the only casino in Paraguay’s capital city of Asuncion. No casinos have been operational in the Central region since the Yacht and Golf Club closed in 2010. Paraguay has permitted land-based casinos since 1997, but the casino industry that receives insufficient foreign investment remains underdeveloped and illegal gaming is rampant.
While Paraguay’s casino industry is rudimentary a number of important developments have happened this year, including the Executive branch of the government’s establishment of new rules intended to reduce the increase of illegal gambling. In addition, plans for discussions regarding bidding for casinos in three departments in Paraguay have been announced by CONAJZAR (Ministerio de Hacienda). The first addition will be in the Central Department and will create jobs and revenue for the state. CONAJZAR’s power over municipal and state casino regulation will increase as a result of the new laws. In addition, it will have more power to set various licensing requirements for gaming halls as well as the power to close them if necessary.
Paraguay is also approaching self-promotion as a gaming destination, as Balbuena along with Paraguay’s Minister of Tourism have signed an inter-agency agreement designed to coordinate knowledge, action, criteria and efforts for tourism promotion centered on gaming.