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Peru’s Congress has approved a law to create a regulatory framework for online gaming and sports betting, which would see the tax rate set at 12% of operator net gaming revenue.

The legislation is expected to come into force after being approved by the government through the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur).

The bill was approved during a parliamentary debate on Friday (15 July), as 91 members voted in favour, while seven members abstained from voting and zero voted against the proposal.

Roberto Sanchez, head of Mincetur, said the 12% NGR tax rate would create a level playing field between Peru’s land-based and online gaming sectors.

Under the proposal, 40% of the tax revenue generated from online gaming will be directed towards Peru’s treasury, with half of that figure going towards the central purse and half going to the Ministry of Health, which will use the funds for mental health and gambling addiction prevention services.

The legislation also allows Mincetur – which will act as the sector’s new regulator – to establish a regime of infractions and sanctions, including warnings, fines, licence revocations and permanent exclusion from the market.

It was first revealed that Mincetur was working on a draft online gambling bill in March this year, before the Congress’ Finance Committee approved the bill for further consideration in May.

Currently, customers in Peru are not prohibited from placing bets online with operators. However, the local government has no oversight over those operators based internationally.

One of the effects of the new legislation passed by Congress is to bring businesses based outside Peru in line with local operators with regards to their tax contributions.

Several international operators, including Betsson, bet365 and LeoVegas, already offer their products to customers in Peru and boast a strong presence in the country.

For example, last year Betsson entered into an agreement with the Peruvian Football Federation to rename the country’s top-level football tournament as the Liga 1 Betsson.

At the time, the operator said the agreement reaffirmed its commitment to adding positive value to the country’s national sport. As a central element of the agreement, Betsson said it would promote its Juego Responsable (Responsible Gambling) campaign alongside the rebrand.

Later in 2021, Betsson completed the acquisition of local B2C operator Inkabet, in order to expand and strengthen its presence in the region.

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