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Peru approves gambling regulations

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) has approved the country’s sports betting and igaming regulations.
Peru gambling

The exhaustive document, known formally as Supreme Decree 005-2023-Mincetur, outlines the technical and regulatory requirements for gambling operators wishing to offer their services in Peru.

The country’s gaming law is set to enter effect 120 days from the issuing of the regulations. This leaves operators with a tight schedule to comply with the new rules.

“It is the first time that this important economic activity has been regulated in the country. In South America, Peru becomes the third country to regulate it, after Colombia and Argentina, in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Mendoza,” said minister of foreign trade and tourism Juan Carlos Mathews.

Ministry warns of steep fines for non-compliance

The regulations will go into effect on 9 February 2024. Operators currently active in Peru’s gaming market will have one month to apply for a licence. This gives businesses from 10 February to 10 March 2024 to apply.

Otherwise businesses could face a fine of up to S/990,000 (€245,394/£212,401/$257,838) and no less than S/742,500.

The ministry also warned that failure to apply for a licence could result in criminal prosecution. The government would also bar operators from offering gaming.

“The regulations will allow the Peruvian State to collect close to S/162m annually, to be invested in the reactivation of tourism, tourist infrastructure works, promoting sports and attending to mental health programmes,” he added.  

“We also make it clear that it will not affect betting and the payment of prizes. The money won as a prize will be collected in full. The tax will apply to national and foreign online gaming and betting companies.”

Consultation process highlighted

The published regulations are the result of a public consultation process that saw 772 opinions received from public and private actors.

These include submissions from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Ministry of the Economy and Finance and Peru’s Financial Intelligence Unit. Other organisations consulted comprised gaming operators, suppliers, legal firms and international consulting firms.

Following this, Mincetur held meetings with professional from the public and private sector, as well as unions and technology providers.

“This result is of utmost importance as it demonstrates the coordinated work carried out by Mincetur with transparency, predictability and openness, considering that all actors involved in the issue participated in the process of developing the regulations,” added Mathews.  

The road to regulation: Peru’s gaming law

In August 2022, Peru’s president, Pedro Castillo, signed Law No 31,557 into effect, which sought to regulate the country’s gambling industry.

However, the law faced criticism from some quarters, with some suggesting the original legislation effectively exempted foreign operators from tax.

As such, Peru subsequently passed Law No 31,806. This law amended a number of provisions in the original text.

Changes included a tripling of licence fees to S/2.97m or 3% of net income, whichever is higher. The law also established a point of consumption regime for online games, with only Peruvian domain addresses cleared for use.

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