The Republic of Panama borders Colombia and Costa Rica. The geographical position of the country makes it an appealing tourist attraction, as it touches both the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. Given the fact, a gambling enthusiast would probably want to know about the country’s attitude towards their favorite pastime.
Gambling in Panama
The residents of Panama enjoy high-quality living and a good economy. And since the government recognizes gambling as a legal activity, taxing it contributes to the standard of living.
If you choose Panama as your holiday destination, you will be happy to find out that you will be able to enjoy land-based gambling, as well as its online form there. Not only does the traditional gambling in Panama consist of 40 brick-and-mortar casinos, but it also includes several bingo halls, sports betting venues, and a national lottery.
In addition to that, the Panamanian gambling market comprises online casinos, since virtual gambling is also legal. However, Panama is not the most reliable licensing body, as its gambling license is rather easily attainable. And even when a country approves of online gambling operations, you must be careful about the license holders.
Online Gambling in Panama
According to the laws of this country, Panamanian gamblers are free to access any of the domestic virtual gambling venues, as well as some foreign ones. Given the fact, they are able to legally gamble at a vast number of reputable online casinos.
Therefore, a Panamanian player can take advantage of a variety of generous bonuses. They can find a website that suits them, regardless of what their game of choice may be. Whether they prefer games of chance to table games or vice versa, the Internet is at their disposal. The old-school gamblers can also enjoy the advantages online gambling has to offer, as they are famous for collecting some large bonuses in virtual poker rooms.
The Junta de Control de Juegos regulates both forms of gambling — the traditional one and the virtual one. The name roughly translates as the Gambling Control Board. It issues licenses to land-based casinos in Panama, as well as the domestic online ones. The only form of gambling not regulated by it is the lottery, as the state is the one that runs it.
However, the Board has been heavily criticized due to the way it issues their licenses. Apparently, the Panamanian gambling license is not difficult to obtain. That is the reason why this jurisdiction is among the not-so-reliable ones. Due to the fact this licensing body is considered somewhat disreputable, gamblers from Panama need to pay attention to the reputation of the casinos they decide to trust with their funds.
Although the government has legalized gambling, not all citizens can participate in this activity. The legal age for getting involved in gambling in Panama is 18. It is only logical that only adults are legally able to engage in such a risky pastime.
When it comes to taxing gambling, the laws of Panama are rather confusing. It did not use to be that way. Up until recently, the law used to impose a tax of 7% on slot machine winnings that exceeded $300. Nevertheless, the tax law has changed. The country of Panama now enforces a tax of 5.5% on all cashouts, regardless of the game and the amount of money in question. It comes as no surprise that the gambling community is not satisfied with this solution. However, the only enterprise that is not affected by this regulation is horse racing.
Currencies and Payment Options
The national currency of Panama is the Balboa. Nevertheless, the American dollar is also commonly used. When it comes to virtual gambling, the players from Panama can choose from a variety of options. Other than the bank wire transfer, they can also use credit and debit cards to make deposits and withdrawals while gambling online. In addition to that, electronic cash, such as Neteller and Skrill, are at their disposal as well.
Taking everything we have previously stated into consideration, Panama appears to be a paradise for gamblers. Not only do the authorities not prohibit gambling, but they also openly approves of the activity, as they have legally acknowledged it. The Panamanian gamblers, regardless of the games they prefer, can choose whether to stay at home and play their favorite games on the Internet or go outside and enter one of the various venues.
Nevertheless, they have to keep in mind the fact that their country is not among the reliable licensing bodies. Therefore, a Panamanian player has to be even more careful while choosing a gambling venue. Panama has been famous for handing out their gambling licenses far too easily. Considering the situation, local people can enjoy this popular pastime, but they still have to keep this fact in mind behave accordingly.