Peru moves a step closer to legal sports betting

While much of the focus on regulated betting has been squarely focused on the USA, it is worth keeping an eye on its spread in further-flung outposts of the Americas. One such case is the South American nation of Peru, which last week moved closer to full provision of legal sports betting when new President Pedro Castillo signed a bill advanced by the nation’s parliament. It will now be a matter of a few months until Peru has fully legalized online and sports betting.

As per the national law of Peru, the approval of the bill was posted in the national newspaper, El Peruano after Castillo gave it his imprimatur. Sixty days after this posting, the bill will legally take effect. Within the bill are provisions banning both children and people with a gambling problem from taking part in betting; the latter will be monitored based on a national database of people who have self-excluded in the past, or have been reported as showing problem gambling tendencies by those close to them (and have then had the issue verified).

The bill was devised by parliamentarians who considered that by not having regulated gambling in Peru – even while casinos operated legally in the country – the country was missing out on millions of dollars’ worth of revenue. As such, the current legislation includes within it a tax of 12% on net income for betting operators. 40% of the take from that tax will go directly to the public treasury, another 40% to upgrading and developing tourism, and the rest to improving mental health and other public awareness causes.

It is expected that full provision of betting in Peru will happen this side of the new year, delivering something in the region of $40 million to the public purse. Among the legal aspects of the legislation, it will be illegal to run a sportsbook venue within 150 meters of a religious temple or a school. It will also be illegal to advertise an iGaming venture that has not been approved by Mincetur, the Peruvian ministry for foreign trade and tourism.

With Chile, Brazil and Argentina all having taken steps recently to liberalize existing betting laws and offer new licenses to betting companies, Peru is just the latest country in South America to formalize sports betting in a meaningful way. It remains to be seen if this will kickstart campaigns for change in neighboring countries.

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