Paraguay’s gaming regulator, Conajzar, has taken the decision to revoke two recent resolutions to renew the licences for Hotel Casino Acaray in Ciudad del Este and Casino Carnaval in Encarnacion.
Azar Internacional SA, which operates Hotel Casino Acaray, and Casinos Paraguayos SA, the operator of Casino Carnaval, had both successfully applied to extend their licences, which are due to expire in seven years time.
The extension of both operators’ concessions would have come in to force in 2025, and lasted for 10 years. Juan Ernesto Villamayor, coordinator of the transition team for president-elect Mario Abdo Benitez and future Interior Minister, contended that the automatic renewal of the two casino licences was against the law.
“There is no automatic renewal in the law, after the deadline for a concession expires a tender needs to be called, that is what the law establishes, what they have done is a violation of the law,” Villamayor stated. “We have to address all this, we cannot endorse breaking the law.”
Despite this, Conajzar s president, Oscar Portillo Martinez, defended the decision to renew the two licences.
“[Licence extentions] are not something that Conajzar grants without taking into account the legal framework and the Comptroller s Office has ruled that in certain cases extensions can be granted,” he explained.