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Ecuador – President imposes advertising ban on sports betting

By - 29 August 2023

The president of Ecuador Guillermo Lasso has approved a ban on the advertising of sports betting. The measure, entered into force under Executive Decree 853, which was officially signed on August 23. The measures are part of wider regulations covering communications introduced at the end of 2022.

In a statement Ecuador’s largest football competition, LigaPro, said that the measure was part of a “disturbing trend on the part of the current government with regard to the sports industry.”

LigaPro is currently being sponsored by local sports betting operator Bet593.

“We want to express our deep rejection and our most vigorous protest at the recent inclusion of a ban on the advertising of sports predictions in the Regulations to the Communication Law,” said LigaPro, in a statement which explained that the ban would have a direct impact on the industry.

In the statement, the entity described the “essential place” that football occupies in society and highlighted the collaboration of sports betting companies in Ecuador, which after the pandemic functioned as “a vital way to ensure necessary income” for football teams.

“We categorically reject this new attack on football, investment and entertainment. We call for respect for our fundamental principles and consideration of the importance of advertising investment in sports prediction for the sustenance of our sport,”  LigaPro went onto say concluding that the league would take legal action against the move.

The ban will add more pressure to the industry which face new taxes beginning next year after the constitutional court of Ecuador approved taxes on sports betting in June. The reforms are part of a much wider tax reform bill that includes tax cuts for most families.  

When it comes to sports betting the rule establishes that sports betting platforms must pay a 15% tax on GGR. In addition operators will be responsible for imposing a 15% withholding tax on player winnings. If a bet is placed via an operator that does not reside in Ecuador, the player must assume 15% of the tax on the value of thier bet at the time of placing it. At least 26 sports betting sites operate in the country according to Ecuador’s tax office.

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