Peru Considers Online Sports Betting Changes to Increase Sports Funding in the Country
Peru has been one of South America’s gambling powerhouses for many years. Back in 1994, the Peruvian government under Alberto Fujimori passed a gambling act that updated the country’s rules and regulations in this area. As a result, there are a number of physical and digital casinos operating within the South American nation, and regulation is more liberal than that of some of its neighbors, such as Chile where online sports gambling is prohibited.
In the last year, however, Peruvian authorities have begun to rethink the country’s approach to wagering – in particular, online sports betting. A 20% tax on sports betting has been proposed, increasing government revenues from gambling. This is intended to provide more funding to sporting competition in Peru, which has been struggling following budget cuts in recent years.
Increasing Funding for Peru’s Sports Teams
By altering the regulation of online sports betting in the South American country, Peruvian authorities hope to channel more funds to the nation’s sports teams and individuals – funds that are greatly needed if Peru is to be competitive on the world stage. It is also hoped that direct investment of taxes from online sport gambling revenues will help to eliminate other issues, such as money laundering, that have been problematic in the past.
Diana Gonzales of Peru’s Social Integration Party outlined her hopes for the regulations.
“Peruvian sports, after the Pan American Games in Lima 2019, have received less budget each year and, in addition, the income that the Peruvian Institute of Sports (IPD) received directly through slots and casinos has been reduced due to the pandemic,” she said. “This initiative [favors] promoting and financing sports activities and our athletes.”
Peru’s Huge Sporting Potential
Peru won 41 medals, including 11 golds, at the 2019 Pan American Games, finishing in tenth position out of 31 participating countries. The success of the games was a proud moment in Peru’s sporting history, but funding difficulties have plagued the country’s sports scene since then. The following year, Peru sent 35 athletes to the Tokyo Olympics – the greatest number of Peruvian participants in an Olympics since 1984 – but again the team failed to medal. Peru has not achieved an Olympic medal since Barcelona 1992.
Also, in football, Peru’s national sport, the nation has underachieved despite fielding squads of world-renowned players. In 2019, the same year as Lima hosted the Pan American Games, Peru reached the final of the Copa América, losing to Brazil in an excellent showing – but Peru has only won this tournament twice in its 110-year history, and the last time was in 1975. At the World Cup, Peru was a regular qualifier throughout the ’70s and early ’80s, but has only featured once since 1982, and their playoff defeat to Australia earlier this year means a wait of at least four more years for Los Incas.
Sport is a big deal in Peru, and successes on a global stage would provide significant national pride for the country’s population. If changes to online sports betting tax regimes provide the springboard that Peru’s athletes need to fulfill their potential, this is likely to be welcomed across the country.