Peru moves to end its gray-market status, Brazil publishes sports-betting rules, and Kyrgyzstan may revive its casino industry.
With a population of over 30 million, Peru is a rising star in the Latin iGaming boom. The country has long operated as a stable gray market; online gambling was not explicitly regulated, but Peruvians are not prohibited by law from playing casino games online.
Gray markets can be volatile for operators, as sometimes authorities suddenly move to ban gambling or introduce an exorbitantly high tax rate. Inevitably, the result is often a thriving black market. Lawmakers in Peru, however, seem more interested in learning from history than repeating it.
This month, President Pedro Castillo’s Cabinet of Ministers unanimously approved draft legislation that would regulate online gambling in the country.
Under the terms of the draft law, which has now been submitted to the Peruvian parliament, sports betting would be taxed at 20%, and online gambling and sports betting would be regulated by the Tourism Ministry.
At long last, Brazil’s Secretariat of Evaluation, Planning, Energy, and Lottery has published the regulations that will govern the country’s sports betting industry.
Licenses will cost operators BLR 22.2 million ($4.4 million) There will be no cap on the number of licenses issued. Offshore operators will be required to establish a Brazil-based subsidiary and demonstrate that they have enough financial capital for the volume of bets they accept.
Licensees can offer both traditional and esports betting, and must adhere to advertising standards such as refraining from targeting minors and avoiding portraying gambling as a quick and easy way to upgrade their lifestyle or banish financial woes.
Sports betting will be regulated by the Ministry of Economy, which must set a deadline within the next six months for operators to be in compliance. Regulations will go into effect 90 days after the bill is signed by President Jair Bolsonaro.
Casinos, slot machines, and other forms of gambling were banned in Kyrgyzstan in 2012. The ban was expanded to include sports betting in 2015. But after ten years of gambling prohibition, the Kyrgyz government has changed its tune.
Initially, the parliament intended solely to legalize a casino resort area in the region of Issyk-Kul where only tourists above the age of 21 would be able to play. However, at some point during the legislative process, the scope of the bill grew, and now casinos, slot machines, and online gaming will be legal throughout the whole country (though Kyrgyz citizens will still be unable to play).
Officials’ stated goal for the legislation is to attract foreign investment and bolster the national budget.