Balbuena bows out from regulator top job

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Paraguay’s president, Horacio Cartes, has named Óscar Ramón Portillo Martínez as the new president of the country’s gaming regulator Conajzar, following the resignation of Javier Balbuena.


Balbuena stated that his decision to leave the post was due to personal reasons and a desire to return to the private sector.

Despite this, there has been speculation in the media given that the move comes in the wake of criticism of Conajzar for its handling of the controversial tender to operate a sports betting monopoly in the country. Paraguay’s Comptroller General (CGR) has recommended that this bidding process be declared void after a number of irregularities were flagged.

“It is important to highlight that I am not a career civil servant,” stated Balbuena.

“I come from the private sector. When I was invited to work with the Government, it was originally to be for a period of three years. However, that term was later extended and to date I completed four years and six months in post.”

Portillo Martínez was previously legal advisor for the Paraguayan Organisation for Inter-Municipal Cooperation (Opaci) and has also served as financial director of the National Transit Agency.

“I retire from the Conajzar with the satisfaction of having done my duty and with the firm conviction of having contributed to the development of gaming in Paraguay,” Balbuena concluded.

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