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Peru – Online gambling bill approved by congress

By - 18 July 2022

The Peruvian Congress has passed a new gambling bill. The bill which was approved with 91 votes in favour, none against, and seven abstentions allows for both sportsbetting and online casino games once it is approved by the President.

The law imposes a direct tax applied to Net Income (Net Win) of 12 per cent.  The text  of the bill contains elements of both the Economy Commission’s proposals issued in May along with the bill presented by the Executive which had in turn been endorsed earlier this month by the Foreign Trade and Tourism Commission. The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) will serve as the new regulator. The law puts in place a system of infractions and sanctions for non compliance ranging from a reprimand, to fines, licence disqualification for up to ten years and a permanent ban.

According to the bill landbased operators will also be allowed to offer online gaming but the municipalities may only grant licenses to the owners of online sportsbetting outlets with prior authorization from MINCETUR. At the same time The Ministry of Transport and Communication will be responsible for the blocking of non licensed operators.  

During the debate, head of MINCETUR Congressman Roberto Sánchez, stated that one of the agreements reached in the drafting of the final text was the 12 per cent tax rate.

Sánchez pointed out that this tax levels online activity “with the activities that currently exist, such as casinos and slot machines” and establishes “a level playing field” for both adding said that the new law would put in place a number of player protection measures.

The Economy Commission, represented by Congresswoman Silvia Monteza Facho, said that that a  selective consumption tax,  which would have been imposed on players in the Executive’s version of the bill, had been omitted.

While there is no specific legislation in place which outlines how offshore companies may offer their services offshore companies have in the past been permitted to offer their services as long as they adhere to local  business practices and Peruvian law. Online gaming could be offered either from within or from outside of Peru. Indeed Peru was one of the first jurisdictions to officially allow for online gaming in the region and allows a number of online sites to offer their services locally. MINCETUR has been looking at regulating the industry further in order to generate additional gaming revenue and ensure that online gaming sites meet with anti money laundering requirements as well as player protection measures especially when it comes to the protection of minors.

In June 2015 Director General of The General Directorate of Casino Games and Slot Machines (DGJCMT) Manuel San Román Benavente announced that the board was working on a set of new online regulations. According to government estimates the net win of a newly regulated online industry in Peru could stand at around 2,000 million soles (more than US$584m).  

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