Peru’s Gaming Regulator Fines More Than 30 Casinos Over Violations

Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur, for its Spanish acronym) is developing the country’s online gaming sector. Since the beginning of the year, the country’s gaming regulator has conducted several on-site visits and issued over 30 fines for various violations.

The Liberty gambling hall in Lima, Peru, at night. It and similar properties in the country routinely receive visits from the gambling regulator to ensure they abide by the rules. (Image: Choice Casinos)

This week, Mincetur carried out 1,346 inspections of more than 700 authorized slot machine gaming rooms in the country between January and August. As a result, it handed out 36 administrative sanctions.

Thirty companies owned gambling halls throughout the country were fined for not playing by the rules. While the total amount they had to pay wasn’t as big as some other fines, they still had to give up ARS690,000 (US$175,274) collectively.

Eight of the 30 companies received sanctions for operating unauthorized slot machines. Mincetur found another seven that allowed prohibited gamblers inside their facilities. These ignored a national database that all gambling operators must access.

More Fines

Another four companies received fines for not keeping recordings from their video system for 15 days. Mincetur found one more that didn’t pay out prizes in a timely manner.

Additionally, 10 companies didn’t fulfill their anti-money laundering (AML) requirements. Mincetur sanctioned these operators for not submitting their annual AML compliance report as required by law.

Peru maintains what it calls the Registry of Persons Prohibited from Accessing Casino Games and Slot Machines. It includes a list of individuals who cannot gamble for different reasons, including addiction, and has been in place since 2012.

Willful Avoidance

Each week,  Mincetur team of officials makes unannounced visits to gambling facilities across Peru. The goal is to verify strict compliance with the rules that regulate the activity.

The illegal operation of casino rooms and slots constitutes a criminal offense under Article 243-C of the Peruvian Penal Code. Despite knowing the inspections occur and understanding the law, some businesses still willfully violate the rules.

Mincetur is the only authority at the national level to sanction the owners of gambling halls for non-compliance. Local governments can also sanction non-compliance through municipal regulations.

Currently, there are 19 gambling halls and 714 slot rooms in Peru. In total, 72,823 slot machines are available. Through special software, they all link to Mincetur and SUNAT, the country’s tax authority.

Peru legalized online gambling last month and is still putting together the rules and regulations to introduce a solid solution. The final results could be ready in as little as three months.

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