The online gambling monopoly in Paraguay is remitting slightly less than $4 million to the government in terms of taxes annually, thanks to the emergence of unlicensed betting sites.
This past week, Jose Ortiz, who heads the National Gambling Commission in Paraguay, stated that Aposta.la was contributing slightly more than US$325k each month the country’s revenue coffers, which translates to $3.9 million annually.
The country has about 7 million people as at now, but Mr. Ortiz justified Aposta.la’s returns on the presence of more than three different unlicensed operators. He pointed out Crown City as one such company. The firm operates Apuestasjockey.com.
Crown City’s parent firm, Montego Trading, which operated under a National Gambling Commission license until 2018, when Aposta’s parent firm, Darum Sam S.A was given a five-year monopoly event though there had been rumors that this contract was awarded without following standard tendering procedures.
Authorities raided Crown City’s operators a few days after the monopoly became official despite the parent company having poked holes at the constitutionality of the National Gambling Commission’s decision. Last August, prosecutors in Paraguay filled charged for illegal gambling against two of Crown City’s representatives and an operator in Enfield, who runs Apostamina in outright defiance of Aposta’s monopoly.
Ortiz also pointed fingers at the authorities for lack of powers to fight unlicensed operators. He also urged parliament to intervene by passing a regulation that would adapt and modernize the current law.
This past month, the football market was also in disarray following chaos after media revealed that Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol’s (APF) president, Marco Trovato, also runs a payment processor that was awarded exclusive rights to handle Aposta.la’s payments.
The president’s double role violates FIFA’s regulations, which prohibit members from being betting operators directly or otherwise. Some clubs want Aposta.la to cease receiving bets on matches they take part in.
Just this week, Trovato stated that the APF is only seeking total control over betting. He cited a 2017 report in which the Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol was looking for rights to be the only body in charge of football wagering. Of course, the APF has rejected these claims stating that it only wants to defend the economic, intellectual and commercial rights of members.