Paraguay’s competitions regulator, the CONACOM, will investigate the recent sports betting tender to see if it was indeed unfair, as many people claim. According to the authority, the competition was set in a way that favored the local participant.
The tender to operate Paraguay’s national sports betting franchise was launched last year. The competition was run and overseen by the Conajzar, Paraguay’s official gambling regulator. However, many participants believed that the Conajzar played favorites by making the terms much more favorable to the Paraguayan participant.
DARUMA SAM, a local sports betting company that operates retail properties across the Gran Asunción province, was allegedly favored by the Conajzar, according to many competitors. As reported by SBCNews, the CONACOM agreed that the regulator’s conditions were not fair and noted that it had failed to inform foreign competitors of the tender fees and minimum technical requirements.
Furthermore, the CONACOM noted that the Conajzar did not justify its alleged favoritism. The former authority also slammed the regulator for providing no requirements on due diligence for its participants and for not checking applicants’ criminal records.
In addition, the APOJA, a Paraguayan gambling union, slammed the Conajzar for running a sports betting tender before Paraguay’s rules on sports betting are finalized.
The Saga Has Been Going on for Months
Despite the scrutiny, the Conajzar is firm on awarding the tender to DARUMA SAM, which it considers to be the most capable operator for a national franchise in the country. The authority noted that its decision has been approved by the government as attested by a decree signed by President Mario Abdo Benítez’s office.
In 2022, DARUMA SAM, the recipient of the national sports betting franchise license, was investigated by the Secretariat for the Prevention of Money Laundering, which accused the operator of allowing money laundering at its properties.
Earlier this year, foreign competitors tried to appeal Conajzar’s decision. Many were outraged by the unfair bidding process, involving the regulator in a prolonged legal battle.
Foreign companies claimed that DARUMA SAM had not presented the correct documentation and should have therefore been disqualified from the competition. A consortium of B-Gaming and Gambling SA also slammed the Conajzar for its reluctance to provide proper justification for its decisions.