Paraguayan Gambling Laws
By Reno Rollins
Gambling in Paraguay is legal. There are a number of casinos in the country, a state lottery is offered, and numerous street vendors can be found offering odds on various proposition bets.
All gambling activity in Paraguay is administered by the National Committee of Games of Chance. They call for bids, grant authorization to exploit games of chance and promotions, collect taxes and fight underground gambling activity. In fact, a number of older casinos were closed in 2005, because they did not meet the necessary legal requirements.
To combat money laundering, offshore banking is illegal in Paraguay. The same law applies to offshore casinos. In January of 2008, a new law went into effect which makes money laundering an autonomous crime punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years.
The legal age for gambling in Paraguay is 18.
The Republic of Paraguay is a landlocked country in South American which borders Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia. Paraguay is divided into 17 provinces and one capital district. They are:
- Alto Paraguay
The largest economic activities of Paraguay are cattle ranching, agriculture and agribusiness. Their beef exports are sizable, and they are the third-largest exporter of soybeans in the world.
The population of Paraguay is estimated to be around 6,669,086. Ninety-five percent of these citizens are considered mestizo (a mix of Amerindian and Spanish), and most are descended from Guarani Indians. Other ethnic groups found in Paraguay include: Italians, Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Arabs, Ukrainians, Brazilians and Argentines.
The official languages of Paraguay are Spanish and Guarani. 75% of the population can speak Spanish, while 90% can speak Guarani.
Roman Catholicism is the major religion in the nation, with 89.6% of the population following its teachings. Other religions include: Evangelical Christian, mainline Protestant, Orthodox Jew, Reform Jew, Conservative Jew, Mormons, Islam, Mennonite and Baha’i.
Casinos in Paraguay
Casinos and bingo halls in Paraguay benefit from the fact that gambling was banned decades ago in Argentina and Brazil. For this reason, citizens from these countries will often travel across the borders to enjoy gambling in Paraguay.
There are currently three casinos in Paraguay. They are:
- Hotel Resort Casino Yacht and Golf Club Paraguay (Avenida del Yacht Numero 11, Lambare, Asuncion, Paraguay) This casino is open weekdays from 2pm until 6am and 24 hours on the weekends. There are 80 gaming machines and 20 table and poker games (including American Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, French Roulette, Poker and Punto Banco). There are also five restaurants, one bar and a 125-room hotel. For more information, call +595 21 906 043, or visit their website at www.towercasinos.com.
- Gran Casino de Itapúa (Avenida 11 de Septiembre, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay) The casino is open from 7pm until 4am on Sunday thru Friday and 7pm until 5am on Saturday. There are 60 gaming machines and 14 table and poker games (including Blackjack, Poker and Roulette). One restaurant is also located on the premises. For more information, call +595 61 512 123.
- San Bernardino Country Club & Hotel Acuario (Km 45 y Lago Ypacarai, San Bernardino, Central, Paraguay) This casino features 28 gaming machines and 14 table games (including Punto Banco, Craps, Blackjack and American Roulette). The property has a 104-room hotel and one restaurant. For more information, call +595 512 232 375.
Lottery in Paraguay
The lottery is legal in Paraguay. It is conducted by the Comision Nacional de Juegos de Azar.
Games of Chance in Paraguay
In 2005, the National Committee of Games of Chance authorized VIBA S.A. to exploit the game of chance known as “Bet-Book.” This game allows bettors to wager on predictions about sports matches, political elections and even beauty pageants. Multiple bets can be made, and numerous options are available. Tickets can even be purchased from street vendors.
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