Peru Online Casino and Sports Betting Almost Ready to Go Live

Posted on: November 16, 2022, 09:55h. 

Last updated on: November 16, 2022, 10:36h.

In August, Peru lawmakers approved legislation to authorize online gambling and sports betting. As with most laws, it required a three-month delay, which has now ended.

Mincetur director Roberto Sánchez
Peru’s Mincetur director Roberto Sánchez makes a presentation. The government entity will oversee online gaming and has established the framework following the approval of new laws three months ago. (Image: La Republica)

The Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur, for its Spanish acronym), Roberto Sánchez, announced that draft regulations for the new gaming laws are now available. The update regulates the operation of remote games and sports betting, providing more tax revenue to the country.

Mincetur’s General Directorate of Casino Games and Slot Machines has opened the floor for additional comments, suggestions, and opinions from insiders before making the regulations official. All operators, suppliers, and other gaming-related entities are welcome to provide their input.

A Lot Of Ground to Cover

The text of the pre-regulation has 53 articles for review from industry players. These cover general provisions, activity authorizations, technological platforms, certification laboratories, supplier registration, and more.

Online gambling and sports betting generate around US$1 billion annually in Peru, according to Mincetur. However, none of it produced the Special Tax on Gambling (12%) that casinos and slot machines have paid for two decades. For this reason, Mincetur worked on a bill that led to its regulation and formalization.

The project then appeared before Peru’s Congress, which added two riders, one from the Economy Commission and another from the Foreign Trade and Tourism Commission. As a result, Congress eventually approved a revised version of the original draft.

The law also mentions that Mincetur is the only administrative gaming authority at the national level. It will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of online gambling and sports betting. Free bets and demo play are also off the table with the new regulations. Interested parties have until December 2 to provide their input on all of the suggestions.

Based on the projections, the government will collect PEN160 million (US$41.58 million) per year in tax revenue. Sixty percent of that will be split evenly between the public treasury, the finance ministry, and government health initiatives. The remaining 40% will go to the development of tourism. With the country facing political and economic crises, it needs all the help it can get.

Mincetur Drama Heats Up

As much as Mincetur wants to show that it’s capable of leading online gaming responsibly, its boss isn’t doing a good job. Local media outlets report that congressmen have received dozens of emails from individuals regarding how Mincetur’s director, Roberto Sánchez, is conducting shady operations.

The complaints allege that Sánchez forces officials to pay him in order to keep their jobs, essentially extorting money from them. Peru lawmakers have reportedly launched an investigation into the allegations.

Sánchez may not just be targeting officials in the organization. An unidentified legislator with the Together for Peru party accuses him of having requested money from the candidates for mayors and regional governments while they were on the campaign trail in 2018. That allegation will form part of the larger investigation.

Peruvian Casino Drama Ends

The advance of online gaming in Peru comes on the heels of the end to a conflict between casino workers and operator Dreams. After months of accusations, and only with the intervention of the Ministry of Labor and labor organization UNI Americas, the two sides have settled their differences.

Dreams and the Single Union of Entertainment, Casino, and Allied Workers of Peru reached an agreement late last week. It will lead to the reinstatement of 25 workers of Casinos Dreams in Peru, who the operator previously fired for joining the union.

In a statement provided to from UNI Americas, Gaming Director Henry Olivera stated, “This agreement strengthens social dialogue and allows us to outline common objectives for the union and the casino companies in Peru.”

UNI Americas Regional Secretary Marcio Monzane added that the resolution is significant because it will also facilitate the “resolution of future conflicts.” In addition, it will serve as a foundation for the development of a stronger relationship between the union and the casino operator.