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With Peru finally legalising iGaming and online sports betting, another bastion in the South American wall has fallen to 360 gambling.
Hitherto in the region only Colombia has legally permitted betting in all its manifestations.
Brazil’s vast potential market lacks judicial clarity, while both Argentina and Chile have jumbled jurisdictions, amid ongoing national regulatory debate, or regulation by provincial licence.
Pizarro, modern Peru’s founding Conquistador, and marmalade sandwich-loving Paddington bear, would be proud that their nation remains in the van of Latin American progress, if still a step behind their northern cousin.
The decision to green light iGaming and online sports betting was passed unanimously by 91 favourable votes in Peru’s Congress – seven abstentions notwithstanding.
Until now the country, population 33 million people, has allowed only traditional gambling at land-based casinos clustered in the capital, Lima, and the nearby wealthy coastal area of Miraflores.
Limited pari-mutuel betting has also been legal at the Hipodromo de Monterrico racetrack in Lima.
Under the new law, iGaming and sports betting licences will be issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism. Operators will pay a basic tax of 12 per cent on net winnings and a further two per cent tax on their monthly income.
Strong measures to protect potentially vulnerable players against compulsive gambling–with a strong emphasis on responsible gambling parameters, shielding minors and excluded players—have been embedded in the new legislation.
Bonuses for online casino games, for example, cannot be exchanged for real money.
Operators will be required to clearly display warning messages on all of their platforms — and inform players of the perils associated with excessive betting.
Violations could lead to a permanent loss of licence, confiscation of assets, or closure of the business. Even minor infractions will trigger fines starting at 200 Peruvian Sols, the equivalent of US$50.
The new gambling legislation is expected to come into effect in early October.