Regulated betting does not have a long history in Paraguay. Several forms of betting took place in the country before independence, but they were primarily private and among punters.
Paraguay gained independence from Spain in 1811. That did not work well for the gambling industry. Dictatorial leadership took over for the next century, through which all forms of gambling were prohibited for the masses.
The economic and political situation in the country also made it difficult for even underground gambling operations to thrive. For example, a six-year Paraguayan war occurred from 1864 to 1870, with more than 50% of the population becoming casualties.
Sports betting could not be among the interests of the Paraguayans at such times. It was until 1993 that things began to change after democratic elections were held.
After the battle, the adoption of Law No. 1016 was introduced in the country in 1997 and served as a turning point in the country's gambling history. This new law paved the way for the formation of CONAJZAR, the regulatory body tasked with overseeing gambling activities in the country.
As a result, all forms of gambling were legalized, including sports betting. However, the law allowed only one state-owned gambling provider to operate legally within the country.
Law No 1016 did not cover online sports betting as online gambling had not yet been introduced by the time the law was passed. Online sports betting thus remained unregulated until 2015, when it was made legal. Notably, the online gambling legislation was adopted three years later after legalization.