The Finance Committee of the Peruvian Congress has unanimously approved a project that regulates online betting and introduces a 20% tax. The initiative, created by congresswoman Diana Gonzales, comes as a response to sports having their annual budget reduced.
“Peruvian sports, after the Pan American Games in Lima 2019, have received less budget each year and, in addition, the income that the Peruvian Institute of Sports (IPD) received directly through slots and casinos has been reduced due to the pandemic,” Gonzales said.
The measure also aims at preventing money laundering, which is one of the reasons why sports have been harmed, according to the congresswoman.
“This initiative favours the promotion and financing of sports activities and our athletes,” she said, as reported by the local outlet Diario Correo. And she added: “This bill seeks to create more resources for the State to benefit the population and particularly national athletes who need more support to represent us.”
If passed, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) would be the entity in charge of granting online gambling licenses. The taxes from betting activities would be allocated to the IPD, while the licenses would be valid for six years and the holder would have the possibility to renew them six months before their expiration.
“The Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of the Superintendency of Banking, Insurance and AFPs will be in charge of supervising sports betting activities,” reads the project, which also sets that guarantee conditions will be established to cover prize payments, fines and taxes.
The proposed initiative also adds penalties for 12 different types of infractions, including three categories: very serious, serious and minor offences. The initial fine would be up to 50 Peruvian Tax Units (UIT), although the license could be eventually suspended for a 36-month period or definitely cancelled, and operators could be disqualified for 10 years.
Additionally, local media reported that the approved documents set that the percentage of return in prize winnings would be 70% of the total bets, meaning that the state could collect around $42.5m annually.
This proposal comes only two months after Mincetur revealed that it was already working on a bill to regulate the industry, as described by Roberto Sánchez, head of the entity.
The ministry in charge of the General Directorate of Casino Games and Slot Machines was interested in applying a 12% direct tax to online gaming, in addition to a 1% Selective Consumption Tax (ISC).