Casino employees in Peru are going on strike today, protesting in front of the nation’s Congress building to demand the reopening of the sector. According to local media, more than 50,000 people are expected to participate in different strikes across the country.

At the beginning of November, the National Chamber of Tourism issued a statement to ask former President Manuel Merino to permit the reactivation of different sectors, including casinos and slot machines, stressing that a protocol had already been approved by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism.

“We’re already in compliance with protocols,” Johan Escalante, a representative of the casino employees, told local media outlet Exitosa. “All betting rooms have been adapted to comply with the guidelines established by the Ministry of Health and by Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism. We already have an approved pre-protocol, the [authorities] haven’t published it yet.”

The Peruvian government is yet to address the issue, which, according to the National Superintendence of Customs and Tax Administration, has already resulted in a 21.8 per cent drop in taxes in September, or around US$232m.

As a result of casinos shutting down nearly eight months ago, Peru has lost approximately $42m in unpaid taxes. Currently, the industry employs more than 86,000 people directly and a further 26,000 indirectly.