Mario Abdo Benítez, President of Paraguay, has officially signed a measure that will restrict the installation of slot machines outside gaming halls within the country. 

Furthermore, the move also voids a contract that local regulator Conajzar had previously signed with iCrop as the exclusive provider of slot and games machine management and distribution for Paraguay.

The law aims to prevent the installation of slot machines in shops so children and young people don’t have free access to gambling. From this week, any business other than gaming halls or casinos will be banned from installing and operating such machines.

Signing the executive order, Abdo Benitez reiterated that “the prohibition of slot machines in free-trade shops was a necessary measure for the protection of children and to prevent gambling addiction spreading across Paraguayan provinces”.

The law will further change the oversight of gambling machines, as regional municipalities will be charged with the licensing of provincial concessions and permits to provide games of chance to authorised businesses. 

Municipalities will analyse the offers of interested companies, before defining which one is the best and whether it complies with the regulations in place.

Furthermore, the law will hand the power to municipalities when it comes to the issuance of fines, which will represent a minimum salary. In case of several violations, the fine will be multiplied and the machines will be destroyed.

In order to control prize payments, there must be a database to identify players, the machine they used, and the value of the initial bet, among other details.

The measure had obtained the final support of the Senate in the first week of April after it was sent to the Chamber of Deputies with modifications. 

Following the second approval, the law had 90 days to get the nod from Abdo Benítez, although the confirmation only took two weeks.