The Chamber of Senators decided to approve the bill; “which establishes protection measures for minors against the influence of slot machines”. With this, it goes to the Executive for its promulgation or veto.
The purpose of the proposal is to regulate the mechanisms for the authorization, exploitation and use of electronic games of chance authorized at the municipal level, understood as such, electronic gaming machines or “slots”.
In the words of the legislators themselves, this law is intended to protect children and adolescents from the influence and risks derived from electronic games of chance that operate outside of authorized casinos. The purpose is to avoid possible damage that affects physical and mental health.
In the approved document, it is established that the municipality will have the power to seize and destroy the machines; and that it can order the temporary closure of the premises. In case of recurrence, the closure will be definitive, with cancellation of the commercial patent. The proceeds from fines would be used for the treatment and assistance of minors who have fallen into the vice of gambling.
This bill emerged in March 2019 at the initiative of liberal senator Blas Llano. It’s your time, he explained that the project finds its legal foundations in article 54 of the National Constitution, on the protection of children, which states “The family, society and the State have the obligation to guarantee the child his harmonic and integral development, as well as the full exercise of their rights, protecting them against abandonment, malnutrition, violence, abuse, trafficking and exploitation. Any person can demand from the competent authority the fulfillment of such guarantees and the sanction of the offenders. The rights of the child, in case of conflict, have prevailing character”.
The legislator recalled at the time the validity of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, approved and ratified by our country by Law No. 57/90 and the Code of Childhood and Adolescence, which in its article 3 It says “Of the best interest of the Child: any measure adopted with respect to the child or adolescent, will be based on the best interest. This principle will be aimed at ensuring the development of the child or adolescent, as well as the exercise and full enjoyment of their rights and guarantees.
The law seeks to prohibit the installation and operation of slot machines in public places where children and adolescents go, in order to avoid possible disorders in mental, physical and social health, as a consequence of addiction to games of chance, whose pathology is called pathological gambling, which according to the World Health Organization is the “disorder characterized by the presence of frequent and repeated episodes of participation in gambling, which dominate the life of the patient to the detriment of their values and social obligations, work, material and family.
In another order of things, the bill that “Establishes the Compulsory Insurance for Motor Vehicles” presented by senators Fernando Silva Facetti, Fidel Zavala, Georgia Arrúa, Carlos Gómez Zelada, Gilberto Apuril and Juan Bartolomé Ramírez, was postponed in its study by Motion by Senator Desirée Masi.