Peru takes plunge into legal online gambling

Peru has made the call to regulate online casinos
Peru has made the call to regulate online casinos
Peru President Pedro Castillo has announced his government will regulate online casinos.

The Peruvian government, through President Pedro Castillo Terrones, has officially signed into law sports betting and online gambling in the country.

The new gambling legislation in Peru introduces a 12% tax rate on net income of the gambling operator’s revenue, that will generate $40m annually into the public treasury.

After months of debating by the Peruvian Congress, the bill now signed into law, received 91 votes in favour last month with no opposing vote. In a ceremony held at the Government Palace, Bill 31, 557 was signed and a day after, published in the country’s official media outlet El Peruano. It will take effect 60 days after its publication in the newspaper.

Peru becomes the latest country to regulated online casinos as governments attempt to receive their tax kick from the lucrative past-time. Previously Peruvians had played at offshore online casinos, but now there is likely to be gambling sites based within their shores.

“The Executive and Congress have agreed on the need to establish a regulatory framework so that these operations are controlled in an integral way, paying taxes and complying with the appropriate conditions,” Castillo said.

In addition, Castillo highlighted that in order to promote “growth and development to all citizens” 20% of the tax revenue goes to the public coffers while the rest will be shared equally among the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, and the Peruvian Sports Institute.

The law names the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) as the primary executor, thereby making it the gambling regulator in charge of the newly opened market. It will be in charge of issuing licenses to the casino and sports betting operators as well as regulating and supervising their activities.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has the right to block illegal URLs, IP addresses, and gambling apps that attempt to operate without a license from Mincetur. Additionally, any infringement of the law by any licensed operator will result in a fine between 1 to 200 special tax units, with a taxing unit amounting to $1,181, cancellation of license, disqualification for up to 10 years or even permanent disqualification.

Requirements for casino operators in Peru include being registered in the single taxpayer registry, using the .pe as part of their domain name and having legal representation in the country.

The new laws also ensure that problem gamblers listed in Peru’s Registry of Persons Prohibited from Accessing Casino Games and Slot Machines will be unable to access online gambling, and minors are also protected.

Tax experts believe this law will herald a large number of bets being placed in the country, especially in light of the FIFA World Cup which will begin at the end of November in Qatar.

Also, the regularization will open up the market to more players, as seen by the debut of FBMDS in Peru early in the month.

Neighbouring country Chile is still considering it as the bill it introduced in that regard is yet to be passed into law.

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