Javier Balbuena – Paraguay needs to strengthen CONAJZAR remits

Javier Balbuena, former Director General of Paraguay’s CONAJZAR gambling commission, has been appointed as a key advisor to the Committee of Economic Affairs which is set to undertake a wholesale review of the country’s gambling laws.

Speaking to SBCNoticias, Balbuena has confirmed that Committee members will review three separate ‘Games of Azar’ bills seeking to establish a new regulatory framework governing Paraguayan gambling across all verticals.

As a jurisdiction, Paraguay holds no distinction between land-based and online gambling disciplines, operating under a legislative framework that has not been updated since 1997.

“I am pleased to be able to collaborate on something that I am very passionate about and to be able to share some of the experience I have about it,” Balbuena detailed to SBCNoticias. “In order to prepare a bill of this type, it is necessary to be able to combine the different types of aspects that currently surround the regulation of gambling.”

Despite differences in technicalities, Balbuena has disclosed to SBCNoticias that all three draft bills mandate for CONAJZAR support stronger controls and systems governing gambling incumbents.

A lack of progress on revamping Paraguayan gambling laws has given CONAJZAR a limited remit of sanctioning licenses and with little regulatory oversight on industry governance, which Balbuena seeks to change.

He added: “In the three projects there are points in common, such as the need for the regulatory body to have its own legal status, have budgetary autarchy and, above all, have a strong control and control structure, elements with which Conajzar does not currently count.”

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