Peru's Political Turmoil Not Expected To Affect Online Gambling Law

January 3, 2023
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In the first week of December, Peru’s former President Pedro Castillo was jailed for attempting to dissolve Congress and install an emergency government, but gambling industry insiders remain optimistic the upheaval will have a minimal effect on the timeline for regulating online gambling.

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In the first week of December, Peru’s former President Pedro Castillo was jailed for attempting to dissolve Congress and install an emergency government, but gambling industry insiders remain optimistic the upheaval will have a minimal effect on the timeline for regulating online gambling.

Perus’ online gambling bill, signed by Castillo on August 12 last year, allows the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) to issue licences to Peruvian companies and the local subsidiaries of foreign entities to operate both online casino games and sports betting.

In the interim, former vice president Dina Boluarte has been installed as President and multiple ministers have also changed, including the minister in charge of MINCETUR.

Previously, Roberto Sánchez Palomino served as the minister of foreign trade and tourism up until December 11, when Luis Fernando Helguero González took over. Eduardo Sevilla Echevarría, the general director of casino games and slot machines, remains in his post.

Sevilla is in charge of publishing the regulation of the new sports betting and online gaming law (Law No. 31557), which is necessary for a new licensing regime to come into force.

“For the moment Sevilla remains in his post, but we do not know if he will continue or be changed,” conceded Nicolas Samohod Rivarola, a lawyer at Vidal Caceres in Lima, who said that the general situation only worries him a little.

“I think that what is realistic would be to think that the regulation of the new law will be published during the month of January 2023 and from there 60 days must pass for the law to come into force and for its rules to be mandatory and enforceable,” he said.

For Gonzalo Perez, the CEO of local gaming operator Apuesta Total, the presidential upheaval is more of the same.

“We have had six Presidents in the last six years, so political turbulence is something which, unfortunately, we are getting used to.”

Like Samohod, Perez expects that the regulation of the approved law will be published without delay. However, a proposed draft law to amend technical errors in the original law has a less clear future.

“Due to the political context, the approval of this law is uncertain; however, in case it is approved, a new regulation would have to be generated that adapts to the modifications approved by the Congress,” Perez told VIXIO GamblingCompliance.

The online gambling law established a period of 120 working days starting from August 12, 2022 to publish regulations establishing licensing regimes for online gaming and betting platforms. A 21-day window for public comments on a set of draft regulations closed on December 2.

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