Ecuadorian Government Takes Steps Toward Legalizing Gaming

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President of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa, has proposed a survey to gather public opinion on various policy points, including gambling, that could potentially lead to the reconsideration of a 13-year ban on all forms of gambling by the Ecuadorian government.

The gambling sector is one of the eleven policy points the President gave the Constitutional Court to conduct a public consultation on.

“Do you agree that the operation of casinos, gambling halls, bookmakers or businesses dedicated to gambling is allowed, under the conditions detailed in the Annex to question 11?” The question reads.

This move is one of the significant steps taken by the government to reconsider new gambling regulations since it banned bingo halls and casinos in 2011.

Argument for Regulated Gambling in Ecuador

While land-based casinos and the gambling sector have come to a halt since the strict prohibition, an unregulated online gambling market has thrived in the country due to the lack of clarity in the law regarding digital gambling. However, Noboa is currently considering lifting the ban and implementing a national regulatory framework that will bolster Ecuador’s economy and generate employment opportunities.

Individuals who support the lifting of the gambling ban and regulating online gaming suggest that the industry could serve as a solution to strengthen economic stability and alleviate insecurity in high-risk areas.

Additionally, proponents highlight the economic rationale for lifting the ban, citing the loss of about 25,000 jobs stemming from the closure of 160 gambling halls nationwide. They argue that lifting the ban could create fresh employment prospects and generate tax revenues that can ultimately aid in reducing the growing wealth inequalities across the country.

We see it with optimism as a support, a support for the tourism industry. Ecuadorians must understand that this not only benefits tourism, it benefits the country, shrimp, fishing, industry, and commerce.

Holbach MuñetonPresident of the National Federation of Provincial Chambers of Tourism of Ecuador

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