uckia Peru General Manager Sergio Rupérez argues that the work of the Peruvian casino and slot regulating agency (Dirección General de Casinos y Máquinas Tragamonedas), led by Manuel San Román, has transformed Peru into a role model within Latin America. Additionally, in this exclusive interview to Yogonet, Rupérez discloses Luckia's plans to open new gaming facilities.
You started in your role as GM of Luckia Peru in May 2017. How could you define the Peruvian casino industry? How would you summarize your first year of management in this country and what objectives are you holding in mind for the short and medium term?
I found a very mature gaming industry with a very advanced regulation, which truly infuses confidence into investors. And this scenario was only possible thanks to the tireless efforts of the Dirección General in recent years.
My first year in Peru has been very intense and satisfying. We do not stray from the values of the group: we seek excellence in customer service, we maintain a continuous commitment to innovation and we promote responsible gaming. We love this industry, and it is very fun to work here because the level of high-speed activity and competitiveness keep us alert and taking care of every last detail. We look forward to continuing our growth in the area of sports betting and our online channel.
“ Here, casinos are seen as leisure centers, customers are unprejudiced, and flow into the venues naturally."
Peru features a multiplicity of gaming venues, mostly small and medium. How hard is the competition to attract new customers? What sets the two Luckia casinos apart? What's special about the gaming portfolio in each of the venues?
Peru is one of the most competitive countries in existence: we are directly competing with many other venues in the same block, and they too offer high-quality products, promotions and customer service. However, I believe at Luckia we achieve excellence through our service, and this sets us apart from our competitors.
The Megaplaza Casino has been a reference in the North Cone for its security, facilities and service offering since its inauguration more than five years ago. The Casino de La Marina, on the other hand, was an operation that we acquired a few years ago and has been completely revamped to offer a memorable experience to our clients.
Both Luckia La Marina and Megaplaza offer slots, American roulette, blackjack, baccarat and Texas hold 'em.
“ To achieve more detailed regulations in sports betting and online games without modifying the current scheme would boost state tax collection"
Do you plan on adding new venues? Why?
Yes, it is a priority for us from a scale economics and brand positioning viewpoint; and also because Peru is a safe country for investments and offers amazing potential for growth.
The Luckia.co site is operational since February. Online gaming is currently in a gray spot in Peru. However, the Dirección General de Casinos y Máquinas Tragamonedas has expressed a clear desire to regulate. Is this an interesting market for Luckia? What do you hold in store for Peru?
Undeniably, Peru is an interesting market for us and we hope to operate sports betting and online games there soon. Luckia has been offering sports betting and online casino for years in Spain, where we are a reference in B2C and B2B, helping partners boost their businesses. Since February, we have been doing this in Colombia as well, and we would like to replicate the same strategy in Peru.
Considering the Ministry of Economy and Finance's intention to review the gaming sector tax burden, specifically the Selective Consumption Tax (ISC) and the General Sales Tax (IGV), what are your views on the tax scheme in place for the industry in Peru?
In my opinion, the tax scheme that prevails in Peru is magnificent because it allows for a great diversity of operators, virtually eradicating illegal gambling. Tax revenue amounted to more than 290,000,000 soles (approximately USD 88,375,800) last year.
(Full presentation by regulator Manuel San Roman Benavente at PGS 2018 can be downloaded here)
Regulating sports betting and online games, without the need to modify the current scheme, would increase the collection of the State and investments in the country. In addition, new jobs would be generated.
“ Adding new venues is a priority for us"
Before arriving in Peru, you played key roles at both Luckia and other companies of the sector - Comar and Peralada - in Spain. What are the main similarities and differences between both markets?
In addition to Comar and Grupp Peralada, I had the opportunity to work in the Gran Madrid Group along with a fantastic team led by Daniel Ledesma, where they gave me every opportunity to develop both personally and professionally.
When you compare the sectors of both countries you find similarities, especially in products such as slots and live games. But Peru has a better tax regulation scheme, there are no en route machines a more colorful offering for the customer. Here, casinos are seen as leisure centers, customers are unprejudiced and flow into the venues naturally.
The group's presence extends to Colombia, Chile, and Peru. What country is emerging as the next market for Luckia in Latin America?
Our intention is to continue growing and positioning ourselves in the Latin American countries where we have been operating but, as our esteemed president says (Access the last interview that José González Fuentes granted to Yogonet), Luckia has no limits.