Uruguay senators approve bill that regulates online betting
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The Finance Committee of the Uruguayan Chamber of Senators approved the bill that the Executive Branch introduced months ago to allow the State and casinos located in the country to offer online betting.

This initiative had been defined as “priority” by the senators of the National Party, taking into account that the demand for online betting has grown due to the changes in habits that the pandemic has imposed.

Likewise, it was a proposal that sought to help unlock the millionaire investment made by Italian businessman Giuseppe Cipriani in Punta del Este, where he seeks to build a new hotel-casino, while also accessing a license to offer online betting services.

The discussion ended with a vote of all parties, because the negotiation also involved contributions that the Frente Ampla ended up making, as explained by the senator of the Popular Participation Movement, Alejandro Sánchez.

Among other contributions, the legislator said, the opposition managed to include an article that obliges the National Directorate of Casinos to finance a fund to treat gambling addiction with 5% of its gross profits.

“Because gambling addiction has grown in the world when online betting is enabled,” said Sánchez, who recalled that the opposition “at first had a critical eye” on this initiative, a position that has changed due to the opening of the ruling party to include modifications.

In this sense, Frente Ampla also managed to get the article to contemplate another obligation of the National Directorate of Casinos, which is to establish “responsible gambling” policies, in order to standardize the criteria for all casinos in the country in order to monitor those players who start to get sick. “The state will have to be responsible for defining these policies”, said the opposition parliamentarian.

Project that authorizes online betting will now be forwarded to deputies

When the initiative reaches the deputies, however, the government coalition will have to face an internal discussion, as there are several “objections” to this project. Congressman Sebastián Cal, who had previously criticized this proposal, has now stressed that the provision that requires contributions to a fund to treat gambling addiction is “not enough”, and that more controls are needed in the advertising of betting.