Uruguayan Senate approves bill to regulate online gambling

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Last Thursday the The Senate Treasury Committee approved the bill presented months ago by the executive power to allow the State and casinos located in Uruguay to operate online gambling.

This initiative had been defined as “priority” by the senators of the National Partysince (among other things) the demand for online gambling has increased due to the changes in habits imposed by the pandemic.

Likewise, it was a proposal that was intended to help unlock the millionaire investment made by Italian businessman Giuseppe Cipriani in the popular destination of Punta del Este.where it seeks to build a new hotel-casino, as well as obtain a license to offer digital betting services.

The debate ended with the vote of all parties. The negotiation also involved contributions from the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) party, as explained on the website El País by Alejandro Sánchez, senator of the Movimiento de Participación Popular (Popular Participation Movement).

Among other contributions, the lawmaker said the opposition managed to include an article that mandates the National Casino Authority to finance a fund to treat gambling addiction with 5% of its gross profits. “Because all over the world, every time Internet gambling is activated, gambling addiction increases,” said Sanchez, who recalled that the opposition had “a critical vision” of this initiative at the beginning, a position which changed due to the openness of the ruling party to include amendments.

In this regard, the Frente Amplio party also succeeded in having another obligation for the National Directorate of Casinos included in the articles, which calls for the implementation of “responsible gambling” policies, to standardize criteria by which all casinos nationwide must remove and monitor players who experience gambling-related harms. that a ban on “advertising for bonuses” was not included.

When the initiative reaches the Chamber of Deputies, the government coalition will however have to deal with an internal discussion, because in the Cabildo Abierto party there are several “objections” to this project. Congressman Sebastián Cal, who previously criticized the proposal, has now pointed out that the provision requiring contributions to a fund to treat gambling addiction “is not enough” and that he disagrees. with the fact that more controls on gambling advertising are not mandatory.


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