Peru, Chile Ponder iGaming as Revenue Source

Alejandro Weber (l.), Chilean undersecretary of finance, says the country wants to join the online gambling marketplace. Weber estimates the industry could generate around $55 million a year in taxes. In Peru, the ministry in charge of gaming in Peru is circulating a draft bill to regulate sports betting and online gaming.

Peru, Chile Ponder iGaming as Revenue Source

Two South American neighbors are eager to join the rush to iGaming.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) of Peru is promoting a draft bill to regulate sports betting and online gaming. Minister Roberto Sánchez argues that local and foreign operators are operating with licenses and providing no benefit to society—especially taxes.

The bill will be evaluated soon by the Council of Ministers.

The Ministry oversees the General Directorate of Casinos and Slot Machines.

The Minister estimates that in 2020 the sector accounted for nearly $1.1 billion from 150,000 bets a day. It evades state control and taxation and sends money to tax havens such as Malta and Curacao.

In his message to Peru’s legislature, Sánchez declared, “By applying a 12 percent direct tax to this activity, the annual collection will allow the collection of more than US$40 million per year.”

Sánchez’s initiative would also, he says, benefit tourism and encourage investment in sports and promote transparency while preventing money laundering and fraud. He added, “We respect free trade, but with responsible companies that pay taxes on gambling, consumption and online advertising, but must have duly authorized permits in Peru.”

In Chile, Undersecretary of Finance Alejandro Weber has disclosed that the country hopes to launch legal online gambling. Weber says the industry could add about $55 million a year in tax revenues to government coffers.

In a statement to Chilian news source La Tercera, he added that one goal of the project will be create a strong regulatory infrastructure that protects players.

“With this project we will set clear rules for an industry that is not currently regulated in Chile,” he said.

According to SBC News, an iGaming initiative was first proposed in 2021, in hopes of building a safe, legal industry for players who now patronize black and gray markets.

If the project is approved, the Superintendence of Gambling Casinos (SCJ) would be renamed the Superintendence of Casinos, Betting and Games of Chance and would be in charge of supervising the online industry. The SCJ indicates that there are already 900 online gaming sites and platforms catering to Chilean consumers.

According to the details of the project, companies would be able to obtain a five-year renewable license or a temporary, non-renewable six-month license. All types of games would be allowed with the exception of lotteries.

Gaming companies would have to be based in Chile, demonstrate they have sufficient capital and agree to report all suspicious operations. The companies would be subject to a 20 percent gross income tax. Sports betting operators would have to allocate 2 percent of gross income to the national federation of the sport involved in the betting activity and an extra 1 percent for responsible gambling initiatives.

Users will also be affected by a 15 percent income tax, which will be taken when withdrawing the money from the platform account to the personal account.

“This is a good project, which we hope will pick up its pace and be approved as soon as possible,” Weber said.