Ecuador.- 22th January 2024 www.zonadeazar.com In light of recent turmoil in Ecuador leading to civil unrest, President Daniel Noboa has opted to withdraw a query on casino regulations from the ongoing public consultation initiated to gauge the country’s future.
At the start of January, Noboa provided Ecuador’s Constitutional Court with a 20-day deadline to issue a public notice encompassing various questions on security, justice, and employment. Among these, the last question examined the potential introduction of a regulated gambling market.
However, following the unrelated escape of drug kingpin Adolfo “Fito” Macías from prison on January 7, a conflict erupted between Ecuador’s armed forces and local drug cartels.
Regarding the canceled casino consultations, a statement from the President’s office, as translated by SBC Noticias, disclosed that all related initiatives are currently on hold as resolving the ongoing civil crisis takes precedence.
Moreover, raising inquiries about casino regulations during this period is likely to intensify political and public tensions, as opposing factions perceive the industry as a potential tool for drug cartels to exert greater influence over Ecuador’s streets.
Nevertheless, there are clear indications that once the situation in Ecuador stabilizes, Noboa will resume efforts to pave the way for regulated casinos and bingo halls in the country, which have been prohibited since 2011.
As a reminder, Ecuador’s current legislation strictly prohibits physical casinos and bookmakers. Despite this, there exists a loophole for online gambling, as there are currently no regulations either prohibiting or allowing it.