Peru has long been known as a country with a laissez-faire attitude towards both traditional and online gambling. There are few laws and regulations in place prohibiting adults from placing wagers on sporting events, card games or the roll of the dice. Casinos are abundant. Gambling, a long ingrained cultural norm since the time of the Incas hasn’t become extinct after the arrival of the conquistadores.
This may all change as the world media dissects the South American country after the infamous alleged murderer of Natalee Holoway, Mr. Joran van der Sloot, murdered again in Peru. Mr. Sloot, after allegedly losing a large sum of money at one of Lima’s casinos, picked up one of the prostitutes found within the casino and took her back to his hotel. Her strangled body was found two days later inside his hotel room.
Joran Sloot is planning to use a ‘violent emotion’ defense in the murder case, claiming that the prostitute ridiculed him for losing so much money gambling, that he violently murdered her in a state of diminished capacity.
The attention of the world media on the circumstances surrounding the murder has given voice to multiple gambling reform organizations putting politicians under tremendous pressure to strengthen Peruvian gambling laws.
There is a ‘cloud of fear’ within the gambling industry that Peru lawmakers may institute tough anti-gambling legislation, in a knee-jerk reaction. The Peruvian internet casino industry fears a possible prohibition on online gambling as well.
LCC, a Lima based anti-gambling organization, summarized the views of the reform movement – “casinos in Lima are the breeding grounds for gangsters, narcotics users, thieves and prostitutes. Laws must be in place to prevent this plague from destroying our society.” LCC further stated that – “the casino operator’s desire for a quick profit is made on the bones of impoverished girls seduced into the life of drugs and vice.”