Peruvian Officials Meet With Mental Health Experts As Legislation Advances

July 1, 2022
Back
Plans to legislate sports betting and online gambling in Peru have edged forward with a government meeting to discuss protecting minors and gambling addicts, but the industry remains frustrated with elements of the planned consensus bill.

Body

Plans to legislate sports betting and online gambling in Peru have edged forward with a government meeting to discuss protecting minors and gambling addicts, but the industry remains frustrated with elements of the planned consensus bill.

At the meeting the government discussed “the need to establish public policies for the prevention and treatment of mental health, for which they stressed the importance of a regulation that allows for the establishment of controls on access to minors and the promotion of the consequences of compulsive gambling".

Attendees present included: María Agüero, secretary of the Foreign Trade and Tourism Commission of the Congress of the Republic; Miguel Vallejos, the dean of the College of Psychologists of Peru; and Yuri Cutipé, the executive director of Mental Health of the General Directorate of Strategic Interventions in Health of the Minsa.

Peru is currently working on a “consensus text” between its two competing proposals.

The first, a legislative bill that is the project of Congresswoman Diana Gonzales Delgado, proposes a 20 percent tax on net winnings.

The second is a project of the executive branch, which proposed a 12 percent tax on net winnings and is a championed by Roberto Sánchez of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR).

Both drafts have been beset by criticism, particularly at the Peru Gaming Show two weeks ago.

Gonzalo Perez of local operator Apuesta Total also told VIXIO GamblingCompliance that the legislative bill “does not clearly define the scope of the law, since the definition of sports and non-sports betting only takes into account events with live results, which would leave out virtual games and online casinos”.

Pertinent to the mental health discussion, “it does not clearly define the role of the regulator, since it only gives it the power to supervise, but not to sanction, authorise or revoke the exploitation of [gambling]”.

Congresswoman Delgado has said in recent comments that in the consensus text that the tax rate will not be her proposed 20 percent, but the 12 percent proposed by MINCETUR.

That legislation, however, has its own issues, according to Perez and others.

The selective consumption tax of 1 percent on bets wagered, called “madness” by lawyer Nicolás Samohod Rivarola in a previous interview with VIXIO, also gives him pause, as it could result in “multiple taxation of the money for gambling”.

Also at issue is licensing: domiciled and non-domiciled companies can access a licence, but only domiciled companies would have to pay taxes, “since according to the executive by multilateral agreement, digital operations would be taxed until there is a single tax”.

Perez said the most serious issue with the executive bill is the way that it addresses illegal operators, again an issue for gambling addicts and preventing access to minors.

“None of these projects penalise the operation of exploitation without a licence, therefore, there will be many illegal operators and they will not have any penalty, encouraging the black market.”

With these issues at stake, the participants in the meeting on Monday (June 27) have emphasised that the sooner that Peru adopts regulations, the better.

Sánchez said in a press release: “This activity must be regulated in a comprehensive manner, paying taxes, in addition to complying with adequate conditions that allow minors and people who may be affected by gambling addiction to be protected from access to these games.

“We encourage investments within the framework of responsible gaming policies, it is the spirit of the project presented by the executive.”

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.