Peru's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) has officially approved the comprehensive regulations for sports betting and igaming in the country. This significant development, known as Supreme Decree 005-2023-Mincetur, lays out the technical and regulatory requirements that gambling operators must adhere to if they wish to offer their services in Peru.
These regulations are scheduled to come into effect 120 days from the date of their issuance, which leaves operators with a tight timeline to ensure compliance with the new rules.
Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Juan Carlos Mathews, highlighted the importance of this milestone, stating, "It is the first time that this important economic activity has been regulated in the country. In South America, Peru becomes the third country to regulate it, after Colombia and Argentina, in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Mendoza."
One notable aspect of the regulations is the potential financial penalties for non-compliance. The rules are set to take effect on February 9, 2024. Operators who are currently active in Peru's gaming market will have a one-month window to apply for a license, which means the application period will run from February 10 to March 10, 2024. Failing to apply for a license within this timeframe could result in hefty fines, ranging from S/ 742,500 to S/ 990,000, and may even lead to criminal prosecution. In such cases, the government may also bar operators from offering gaming services.
Furthermore, the Ministry emphasized that the regulations will allow the Peruvian State to collect approximately S/ 162 million annually. These funds will be allocated to support tourism reactivation, enhance tourist infrastructure, promote sports, and address mental health programs. Importantly, the tax will apply to both national and foreign online gaming and betting companies.
These published regulations are the culmination of a thorough public consultation process. A total of 772 opinions were received from various stakeholders, including submissions from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, Peru's Financial Intelligence Unit, gaming operators, suppliers, legal firms, and international consulting firms. Mincetur further conducted meetings with professionals from the public and private sectors, unions, and technology providers to ensure a well-rounded and coordinated approach.
Minister Mathews underscored the significance of this collaborative effort, stating, "This result is of utmost importance as it demonstrates the coordinated work carried out by Mincetur with transparency, predictability, and openness, considering that all actors involved in the issue participated in the process of developing the regulations."
This development in Peru's gaming industry follows the enactment of Law No. 31,557 in August 2022, signed by President Pedro Castillo. This law aimed to regulate the country's gambling industry but faced criticism, with concerns that it could effectively exempt foreign operators from taxes. Consequently, Peru passed Law No. 31,806, which amended several provisions in the original text. These amendments included tripling license fees to S/ 2.97 million or 3% of net income, whichever is higher, as well as implementing a point of consumption regime for online gaming, allowing only Peruvian domain addresses to be used.
By fLEXI tEAM