Peru is no longer a gray market, Romania reshapes its gambling laws, and Colombia’s Coljuegos aims to regulate the country’s gambling advertising.
Peru regulates online gambling
Long one of Latin America’s most prominent gray markets, Peru has finally become a regulated market. The country’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) has approved regulations for sports betting and iGaming.
The regulations will go into effect on 9 February 2024, 120 days after their issuance. Those operators who are already facing the Peruvian market will have one month to apply for a license under the new regime. Those who fail to do so could be fined as much as SOL 990,000 (€245,394/$257,838), or even face criminal charges.
The law underwent a thorough consultation process before ultimately being adopted. Amendments to the initial text included a 12% point of consumption tax and a tripling of license fees, to SOL 2.97 million (€724,961/$766,591) or 3% of net income — whichever is higher.
Players will also be required to bet with any means of payment other than cryptocurrencies.
The Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Juan Carlos Matthews, estimates that the new regulations will provide the state with SOL 162 million per year.
Romania enacts gambling reform
Early this month, the Romanian government enacted an emergency ordinance to reform the country’s gambling laws.
Changes include new advertising rules, a ban on serving alcohol in gaming venues, a requirement that gambling businesses locate their fiscal headquarters in Romania, and increased licensing costs.
There’s a different license fee for each vertical, but online casinos are on the hook for €500,000. Lottery organizers will pay €200,000, and offering fixed-odds betting will also cost €200,000.
Aside from the license fees, operators will also be required to hold a minimum capital reserves in case the company is unable to cover its licensing fee. Initially, these will be based on each company’s revenues, but in 2025, operators will be required to have €1,000,000 on hand, regardless of the operator’s total revenue.
Colombia’s Coljuegos moves to regulate advertising
Coljuegos, Colombia’s gambling regulator, has submitted a bill requesting that the organization be put in charge of the country’s gambling advertising, sponsorships, and promotional communications.
They include requirements that operators identify themselves in their advertisements and recommendations that operators only advertise to users who have registered on their platform. Advertisements should also include the phrase “authorized by Coljuegos”. Email and social media marketing will only be allowed to be directed to users who have opted in to receiving them.
Operators would also be prohibited from directly advertising to players who have self-excluded or exhibited “risk behavior” in the regulator’s eyes. Social media advertising must be blocked from minors.
Furthermore, advertisements must not misrepresent games or include testimonials from winners.
Most of these proposals are commonplace in regulated markets. One rarer idea, on the other hand, is the proposal that operators would only be permitted to spend a certain amount on their advertising budget — 20% of GGR.
According to the bill, “In the event that an operator exceeds the set range, he or she will be subject to a fine equivalent to up to 100% of the amount exceeded in the investment…The resources obtained from this fine will have the same destination as the resources obtained from exploitation rights.”
Operators will be allowed to have partnerships with sports teams, provided they stay within the bounds of the allowed advertising spend. Sports teams, for their part, must only partner with brands authorized by Coljuegos.
Colombia was the first country to regulate online gambling in Latin America, following a comprehensive model in the vein of established Western European markets. The concept of a limit on advertising spend is uncommon in the global iGaming industry.