Latin American countries were well ahead of the curve at realizing the huge economic potential of sports betting and other forms of online wagering. Costa Rica might be the most significant of these and it’s estimated that sportsbooks operating in the country bring in more than $14.5 million US annually. Peru already has a significant number of casinos and other in-person gaming facilities. These operators brought in an estimated $775 million US in taxes from 2007 to 2017. Much of this revenue was utilized to further boost the tourism sector in Peru.
With neighboring Columbia having already licensed nine online sportsbooks, Peru has figured out that they need to get into the game or watch these revenues head over the border. Manuel San Román Benavente, the head of the country’s Gaming Commission (DGJCMT) says that the desire is to keep Peru at the forefront of gaming in the region:
“The goals obtained in regulation and control of the local gaming industry have allowed Peru to become an established industry leader in Latin America, not just for its stable economy, laws, and tax structure, but also for the constant development and technological evolution.”
He stressed that regulation needs to find a balance between providing a well regulated industry but not at the expense of a thriving, competitive marketplace:
“One of the biggest challenges for the Peru Gaming Commission this year will be the passing of a regulatory proposal that is modern, efficient, and transparent for internet games and online betting.”
The tax rate on online gambling and sports betting has already been established at 12% of net gains. Operators will also be allowed to deduct 2% for system maintenance expenses and other technological expenses before the 12% rate kicks in. In addition, each bet will be subject to a 1% excise tax. system maintenance expenses before the 12% rate.
According to Manuel San Roman Benavente, taxation was the thorniest issue to work out:
“I believe taxation was the most difficult issue to solve, as we had to explain to the Ministry of Economy everything about gambling operations, how platforms work, who are the suppliers, and the systems that need to be implemented, etc.; so once the statutory law is passed, we will focus on the development of the specific rules for its implementation.”
Now the regulatory legislation will be prepared to submit to Congress who is expected to approve it after some discussion.