As a Central American country, Panama is a location that doesn’t get mentioned very much. It’s actually the final country of the Central American strip, linking up to Colombia on one side and Costa Rica on the other. And it’s very similar to Costa Rica in terms of its gambling situation. In actuality, it plays host to around 30 land-based casinos, all of which are found in top-quality hotels in the country. Furthermore, Panama is one of the locations that provides foreign online platforms with gambling licences in order to operate legally. So, without further ado, let’s find out more about this country and everything relating to its gambling laws.
Can You Gamble Online from Within Panama?
The short answer to this question is, yes. The country actually began licensing and regulating online gaming back in 2002 after adopting Resolution No. 65. It has its own Gaming Control Board, which provides platforms with seven-year licences and there aren’t any restrictions on the types of gambling that can be offered within Panama. That being said, anyone who lives in Panama is able to access both land-based and online gambling sites for a variety of different purposes. This includes casino games, sports betting, bingo and poker rooms. It’s perhaps one of the freest Latin American countries when it comes to its gambling sector. The only exception to this, is that the licensed platforms of Panama are not allowed to let Panamanian citizens join and play there.
As spoken of before, Panama is also one of the smaller licensing jurisdictions when it comes to online gambling too. However, it plays host to quite a few online brands that are popular with players from around the world. This is because there’s very little governmental interference when it comes to setting up an online platform. It’s also got a very friendly banking system in place, which doesn’t discriminate against the gambling industry. Panama issued its first gambling licence in 2003 and has been steadily growing as a licensing jurisdiction ever since. The regulatory body of the country is the Junta de Control de Juegos, which provides licences to both local and offshore platforms.
It acts as quite a great base of operations for many online casinos due to all of the perks mentioned above. While there are licensing fees to pay, there is little to stop organisations from beginning their casino venture from Panama.
The Best Panamanian Casino Sites
Best real money online casinos
Games available on desktop and mobile
There are more casino games available online than there is at any land-based casino the world, with 1000s of real money slots and table games available. Nearly all of the top brands in casino gaming make their games available to Panama citizens. Here are some of the more popular games you will find at online casinos.
Panamanian Balboa Deposit Options
While it’s true to say that the Balboa is a national currency of Panama, it’s not the only one. The country also recognises the US dollar as being an official currency too, which means that players from the country are in a great spot when it comes to depositing at an online platform. This is because the vast majority of online casinos accept deposits made in US dollars and gameplay can continue on in this currency too. With this being the case, there are various different payment options that Panamanian players can utilise in order to add funds to an online casino account. They include:
- Credit and Debit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express
- eWallets: Neteller, Skrill, ecoPayz
- Prepaid Cards: Entropay
- Bank Transfer: Bank Wire Transfer
Overall Gambling Status in Panama
While some countries outright ban gambling on every level and others specifically ban online gambling, Panama takes a much more liberal approach to it on the whole. Gambling is entirely legal in the country, with no form of such standing as being illegal. Internet businesses are, of course, exempt from having to provides contributions, duties or import fees that land-based casinos need to pay on machines and furniture etc. This also includes an exemption from the Panamanian income tax and national direct tax on capital. As spoken of before, the only large rule when it comes to gambling in Panama, is that any online site holding a licence cannot let citizens of the country access its games.
Anyone who holds an interest in hosting a gaming company within Panama needs to submit an application to the regulatory body for a licence. Initial inspections include a criminal background check, business process analysis and more. However, it’s generally quite easy to achieve a licence from this jurisdiction, which is why it is becoming ever more popular for businesses to start up there. That being said, because of this ease of receiving a licence, Panama does play host to both good and bad casinos. That’s why it’s much better to judge an online casino based on its own merit, rather than by the fact that it holds a gambling licence from Panama.
Panama gambling Laws
There’s very little that is known about Panama’s history with gambling. However, its licensing jurisdiction was established in the year of 2002, which is when it first began regulating the industry within its own borders. By the following year, it had started dishing out gambling licences, ensuring that all operations there were done with fairness and safety. Naturally, before this time, there were still casinos available to access, although all of them were land-based entities. These casinos didn’t have any sort of licensing or particular laws to be governed by until 2002.
Despite the fact that the regulatory body is there to actually maintain some sort of order when it comes to online and offline gambling establishments, the laws relating to this are so lax that it’s often very easy for scam sites to also obtain a gambling licence from Panama. As it stands, gambling laws don’t negate any kind of betting in the country, from sports betting through to casino and poker options. This means that residents of Panama can play in land-based casinos and offshore casino platforms without any kind of issues. Those online casinos that garner a licence from the regulatory body of Panama only have the restriction of not being able to offer Panamanians the ability to play at their sites. Otherwise, everyone else is fair game.