The auditor general from Paraguay (CGR) has issued a ruling in which it establishes that the lottery operator Technologies Development of Paraguay SA (TDP) has not complied with Law 431/73. The company failed to pay taxes that were supposed to help social organizations.
Following administrative protocols, the CGR reported the results to the local gambling authority Conajzar, and the state agency that manages the regulator, the Ministry of Finance. Although it has not yet received responses from them, the CGR assured that it will conduct an audit once both respond to its requests.
Earlier this year, the Paraguayan Union of Veterans of Chaco filed a lawsuit against TDP, Conajzar and the previous lottery operator, Mepshow SA, due to ‘poor working conditions’ and because they ‘never’ received the financial aid contemplated in Law 431/73.
According to subsection A of article 32 of this law, ‘a 10 percent tax on the profits from lottery draws will be allocated to veterans and special needs people that fought in the Chaco War.’
Darío Ortega, legal director of the CGR, said, according to ABC: “What is beyond doubt is that the law is very clear regarding the percentage [that goes to social programs] and where it should be allocated. Whether it was done or not is something that Conajzar and the Ministry of Finance need to answer to.”
Ortega added that the CGR sent another request to Conajzar and that an upcoming report will lead to another audit to investigate the regulator’s work. The CGR had already raised concerns around the concession of a future casino in the country, under the brand Vimérica SA.
In September, the Chamber of Senators approved a request from civil organizations asking the regulator to share reports detailing where the regulator allocated the money from unclaimed prizes from 2015 to date.
Senator Abel González’s request aims to obtain statistics on unclaimed prizes, as well as where the regulator directed them and whether they were sent to charities. Conajzar must comply with the Senate’s request and exercise control over the destination of the unclaimed prizes. It must also sanction the operators if they don’t comply with the law.