As part of plans to trigger a referendum on allowing casinos in Bahía de Caráquez in Manabí Province, community group, Together for a Better Sucre, has presented 6,634 signatures to the National Electoral Council of Ecuador (CNE).
The CNE approved gathering signatures on the issue on 24 April. A referendum will be triggered if the signatures of 10 percent of residents on the electoral roll can be gathered within 180 days.
Together for a Better Sucre has stated that it will deliver a further two thousand signatures in support of the referendum shortly.
“Once CNE approves the signatures they will release a report which will let us know if the referendum will go ahead or not,” said Jaime Mendoza, a spokesman for the group.
“We believe that with the momentum behind it, the consultation could be carried out before or in conjunction with the next regional elections [scheduled to take place on 24 March 2019].”
If approved it would mean that Bahia de Caráquez, would be the only place in the country where any type of gambling is allowed.
Prior to former president Rafael Correa’s 2011 ban, regulated casinos had operated in Ecuador for over half a century, with the country’s first venue opening its doors in 1949.