Public Officials Implicated In Paraguayan Slots Scandal

August 2, 2022
Back
Several active Paraguayan public officials are under investigation in relation to corruption charges involving the national gaming commission and an illicit slot machine contract, according to reports in the country.

Body

Several active Paraguayan public officials are under investigation in relation to corruption charges involving the national gaming commission (Conajzar) and an illicit slot machine contract, according to reports in the country.

It came to light on Monday (August 1), following a freedom of information request from local media outlet ABC Color, that several of the individuals under investigation in relation to Conajzar still hold public office.

According to ABC Color, among those implicated in the investigation are Carmen Alonso, who still acts as the head of the Directorate of Charity and Social Assistance and is also a candidate for a Senate seat; Rubén Roussillón, another member of Conajzar who has been accused of embezzlement in the past; and Omar Mongelos, who is the director of municipalities at the Ministry of the Interior.

Rousillón is being prosecuted for apparent punishable acts when he was a member of Conajzar. Raúl Silva, an official of the Yacyretá Binational Entity, which governs the dam on the Paraguay-Argentina border, is also among the accused.

According to Article 42 of Law 1626, Paraguayan public officials accused of punishable acts should be suspended from office for the duration of the process.

An initial court hearing to decide whether the case against former Conajzar president José Antonio Ortiz Báez and other Conajzar officials will go to public trial has been scheduled for August 8-August 10.

Alonso, Rousillón and Mongelos are among those who will be a part of that trial.

The trial is the culmination of the complaints made by Paraguayan senators last August against Conajzar’s decision to award an exclusive contract to local company iCrop SA to operate slot machines in non-gaming locations throughout the country.

Lawmakers passed new legislation earlier this year to reaffirm that slot machines are permitted strictly in licensed casinos subject to regulation by Conajzar, as well as in designated slots parlours under the authority of municipal governments.

According to Judge Humberto Otazú, who is overseeing the case: “Regarding the control of the operation of the slot machines, the irregularity consisted in the fact that the rights were transferred to a private company, when by law it should be the power of the municipalities.”

In another development, Paraguay’s Chambers of Deputies has approved a resolution by Deputy José Rodríguez to investigate the ongoing lack of a regulation to implement the new slot machine law.

The law, which was enacted in March to hand power back to the municipalities in the wake of the iCrop scandal and to protect minors by ensuring they were only located in designated areas, has not been regulated within the designated 90-day window.

The chamber wrote of its decision: “To date, there are innumerable slot machines operating irregularly throughout the country, which is why the application of said law is of the utmost urgency.”

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.