Online gambling and sports betting now legal in Peru

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Posted: August 15, 2022, 7:39 a.m.

Last updated on: August 15, 2022, 01:11 a.m.

Gambling and legal remote sports betting in Latin America continues to gain momentum. Peruvian lawmakers quickly advanced legislation to approve both this year, and the country’s president, Pedro Castillo Terrones, signed it on Friday.

Peru's President Pedro Castillo Terrones delivers a public address earlier this month
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo Terrones delivers a public speech earlier this month. On Friday, he approved legislation to bring sports betting and remote gaming to the country. (Image: Andean)

Congressional lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill in July allowing remote gambling and sports betting. Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Roberto Sánchez led the measure to help Peru capture millions of dollars in missed revenue.

The government held a ceremony on Friday where Castillo signed the legislation into law. Subsequently, the legislation became official after it was published in El Peruanothe country’s official media.

Months, not years

The law will enter into force 60 days after the publication of the Supreme Decree approving its regulations. This decree, in accordance with the legislation, must be published within a maximum period of 120 working days from the creation of the regulation.

The text of the law states that the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur, for its Spanish acronym) is the administrative authority for gambling at the national level. It will be responsible for approving operators, as well as regulating and monitoring their activity.

The text also prohibits participation in sports betting and gambling at a distance and betting by minors and people with gambling problems. Operators will rely on a national database, the Register of Persons Prohibited from Access casino games and slot machines, which lists those banned from gambling.

Remote gambling encompasses two methods of placing bets – in person and online. In the event of the granting of operating authorizations to physical premises, the municipalities can only grant authorizations to the owners of remote sports betting gaming rooms approved by the Mincetur. In addition, the law prohibits the dissemination of advertisements from online gaming platforms not authorized by Mincetur.

The law also establishes that remote sports betting sites should not be within 150 meters (492 feet) of religious temples or educational centers that provide regular basic education. Distance is measured by the shortest pedestrian route, not by line of sight.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications will also play a role in overseeing the legal remote gambling industry. It will be responsible for carrying out the necessary actions to block the web pages, IP addresses, URLs and computer applications of any operator who attempts to offer its services in Peru without the authorization of Mincetur.

More state revenue

Operators can expect to pay a direct tax applied to net income once the framework is in place. The bill proposes a tax rate of 12%, the same rate paid by casinos and slot machines in Peru.

Similarly, the legislation stipulates that, of the tax that the government collects, 40% will go to the public treasury. Another 40% is for tourism development and the rest is for mental health promotion and other government programs.

Sanctions for non-compliance with regulations cover the range of possibilities. Violators may receive a reprimand, a fine of 1 to 200 ITUs, cancellation of their license, disqualification for up to ten years, or permanent disqualification. One ITU, a special tax unit, equals $1,181.

Mincetur estimates that the unregulated sports betting and remote gambling markets are currently worth around $1 billion. However, none of this brings tax revenue to the state. Thanks to the new legislation, Mincetur estimates that the government will gain approximately $40.6 million in tax revenue each year.

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