Panama Jurisdiction profile
Located in Central America, Panama is a country where gambling is licensed and regulated. The Panama Gaming Control Board is in charge of licensing and regulation for Games of Chance and Wagering Activities. The gaming industry plays a major role in the growth of the country, as revenues from online gaming provided much-needed funding. The Gaming Control Board works hard to ensure that all online operators are following the local laws and are not putting the country at risk. Along with online gambling, Panama also focuses on offering bingo, land-based casino gaming, and pari-mutuel wagering. The board was originally established in 1947 and has a long history of providing a secure gaming environment for players. The online gambling industry started in 2002 when licenses were handed out to operators willing to follow local protocols and rules. Companies that would like to offer iGaming services in Panama must register to do so based on the Online Gaming Act of 2002. This act allows international betting online. Operators seek out a license in Panama for several reasons including tax exemptions. Online casino sites do not have to pay taxes in the jurisdiction if they do not have online operations in the country. An application must be filled out to be considered and it can take up to two months or more for approval. The process may take some time, but once approved, online casinos are legally allowed to offer services to players in a wide range of areas. Licensing fees are relatively affordable for major companies, costing just $40,000 per seven-year period. Once the initial license expires, operators must pay $20,000 to continue to maintain licensing. This is a relatively low amount, making it more affordable for providers to obtain licensing to offer services to players in various jurisdictions around the world. The official currency used in the region is US dollars with online gaming companies required to follow foreign currency exchange policies as needed. Every online casino operator in Panama must provide protection for its members. This includes using software that meets the required standards set by regulators. The jurisdiction must approve the software used before it can be added to a site. Anti-money laundering precautions must also be in place. Controls for anti-money laundering are essential and a signed tax agreement with the US must also be in play. Any transactions connected to real money wagering need to be accounted for. This includes a complete account history that can be used by the government of Panama if any issue of money laundering were to occur. Regulations are in place to ensure the protection of every player utilizing online casino games in Panama. Despite the overseer working hard to check for fair and honest gaming, players should also complete their due diligence. Take time to read reviews of online casino operators. Find providers that offer quality services that other players enjoy. Avoid any sites that have bad reviews, such as issues with cashouts, unfair games, or player security. If any issue arises with a site licensed in Panama, you can contact the Gaming Control Board for assistance.