Extra-workers will ask the Constitutional Court to annul the restriction. They want to resuscitate the game, but with more regulation.

The laws were made to change. At least, this is the view of the members of the Association of Foreigners of Casinos of Ecuador who are ready to, in less than a month, submit to the Constitutional Court an order to repeal the ban on the operation of bingo halls, gambling halls and casinos in the country, approved via popular consultation in 2011.

“It was an unconstitutional measure,” said Marco Villacís, representative of the union, who indicated that this can be annulled by an opinion of this body of the Judiciary or through a new referendum.

“In this era in which there is no employment, we are proposing the generation of 20,000 jobs for Ecuadorians, a project that will attract more tourists to the country and that will be positive for the economy,” he explained.

He added that since the closing of casinos and gambling halls, the bets in the country have not diminished or disappeared, but have become clandestine. And in this the figures support it. According to data from the National Police, only in Guayas from 2012 to 2018 have been closed about thirty illegal casinos, and the authorities are tracking about thirty more spread out in Guayaquil, Milagro and Duran.

According to the authorities, these work in homes and their existence is disseminated exclusively among customers, without digital promotion. Additionally, in the years following the closing of gambling halls Internet betting sites have become popular, which are international in nature and are not regulated by current legislation, given that these companies are not in the country.

The proposal of this group of former workers is not the first either. In December of last year, the National Electoral Council (CNE) approved the request for a local referendum from the mantense Vive Manta collective to authorize the casinos in this Manabi locality. They are in the process of collecting signatures and, if successful, the request will also go to the Constitutional Court. There are similar requests filed with the CNE for groups in Sucre (Manabí), Salinas and Quito.

A few weeks ago the new mayor of the capital, Jorge Yunda, was open to the project, so Villacís said that they also hope to meet with the mayor to present his proposal.

According to the constitutional lawyer John Terán, the approach before the Court is totally legal, but the entity must weigh the request of the collective against what was established by the 2011 consultation. “You can ask for the pronouncement of the Court, no doubt; but the judges must determine if, considering that there was already a popular vote on the matter, a new consultation is admissible to deal with the same issue, “he said.

For the lawyer and teacher María José Castro, declaring the 2011 consultation unconstitutional is inadmissible. “They should prove in what way that consultation was unconstitutional, because I really do not see it. Now, legally, they can go before the Court, and this Court can also reject the request, especially since there is already a resolution, which obtained a 45% popular vote. “

In front of the critics before the proposal of the extrabajadores, Villacís explained that the project also contemplates the regulation of this activity, characteristic that -feel- failed during the previous validity of the casinos.

“The Ministry of Tourism did not have the adequate knowledge to carry out the control. We propose the creation of a regulatory body, as it exists in Colombia, that generates regulations and controls the establishments. So we all win, “he argued.


Chance, but not for profit

In 2016, in order to introduce technology to the sale of its products, the National Lottery created the Lucky Points. These, installed in shopping centers, offer their products, such as scratch cards and the Millionaire Well in machines. The law does not sanction the activity because it is not for profit and the revenues collected are used in social works. (I) 



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