Peru to lay legislative groundwork for launch of online sports betting regime

Peru will become the latest South American country to review its national gambling laws, as Congress has unanimously approved a decree project that seeks to regulate and tax an online sports betting regime.

Last week, the Finance Committee unanimously approved for peer Diana Gonzales’ decree project to be reviewed by the Congress of Peru.

Gonzales’ a representative of the Social Integration Party (liberal conservatives), submitted proposals for Peru to establish an online sports betting regime in response to the national sports budget being significantly reduced.

The project outlines that Congress should establish the legislative foundations for Peru’s government to operate a ‘sports betting regime taxed at 20%’.

“Peruvian sports, after the Pan American Games in Lima 2019, have received less budget each year and, in addition, the income that the Peruvian Institute of Sports (IPD) received directly through slots and casinos has been reduced due to the pandemic,” Gonzales said.

The directive also aims to prevent money laundering, which was deemed as one of the reasons why Peruvian sports funding has been harmed, according to the congresswoman.

“This initiative favours promoting and financing sports activities and our athletes,” Gonzales told local media outlet Diario Correo.

“This bill seeks to create more resources for the State to benefit the population and particularly national athletes who need more support to represent us.”

If approved, Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) will become the government agency charged with overseeing the granting of online sports betting licenses.

Taxes generated from online betting activities would be allocated to the IPD, whilst licenses would be valid for a period of six years.

“The Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of the Superintendency of Banking, Insurance and AFPs will be in charge of supervising sports betting activities,” read the project, which also sets that guarantee conditions will be established to cover prize payments, fines and taxes.

The proposed initiative has outlined penalties for 12 different types of market infringement, that are split into the three categories of : very serious, serious and minor offences.

The initial fine would be up to 50 Peruvian Tax Units (UIT), although the license could be eventually suspended for a 36-month period or definitely cancelled, and operators could be disqualified for 10 years.

Additionally, local media reported that the approved documents set that the percentage of return in prize winnings would be 70% of the total bets, meaning that the state could collect around $42.5m annually.

This proposal comes only two months after Mincetur revealed that it was already working on a bill to regulate the industry, as described by Roberto Sánchez, head of the entity.

The ministry in charge of the General Directorate of Casino Games and Slot Machines was interested in applying a 12% direct tax to online gaming, in addition to a 1% Selective Consumption Tax (ISC).

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