In 1997, the country of Panama authorized legal gambling. And since then, there have been a number of high-end casinos built, mostly in Panama City, which are enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.
If you’re going to be gambling in Panama, you’re going to want to check out some of this country’s natural beauty as well as its exciting nightlife.
The country itself is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and it has some of the best beaches in Central America.
The variety of music, art, and culture you’ll find in Panama City is spectacular, as are its restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
One of the best reasons to make Panama City your gambling destination for a tropical trip is the accessibility.
Unlike other exotic vacation spots, Panama City has an international airport that is serviced by all major airlines and is only a two-hour flight from Miami.
Most casinos in the country are located in Panama City and some are government-owned. The legal gambling age in Panama is 18 years old. Here are some of the most popular casinos.
Veneto Wyndham Grand Hotel and Casino. This is the largest casino in the country and features many casino games including 40 table games, eight poker tables, and 600 slot machines. Located in the center of Panama City the hotel has over 300 rooms and suites as well as a spa, an outdoor pool, and a health center. This casino is open 24/7 and there is live music and entertainment every night of the week. They offer blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, Caribbean Stud, Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud.
Panama Princess Casino and Hotel. Also located in Panama City, this five-star hotel has 128 rooms and a slew of amenities that include 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi, and a fitness center. The casino floor is 27,000 sq. ft., has 19 live table games, and 400 slot machines that are connected to a progressive jackpot. Table games include roulette, blackjack, Texas Hold ‘Em, Oasis Poker, and Russian Poker.
Hotel El Panama Convention Center and Casino. This hotel features over 300 guest rooms that include cabanas and suites. Their 20,000 sq. ft. casino features a sportsbook and a private poker room that holds regular Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments. Table games include roulette, blackjack, and Three-Card Poker. On top of that, they have slots and video games of electronic keno, video poker, and electronic bingo.
After you have scratched your gambling itch, you should check out some of the great things to do in Panama that include hiking, wildlife, beachcombing, coffee plantations, and of course, the Panama Canal.
1 – The Panama Canal
An amazing feat of human engineering, the Panama Canal is a 48-mile artificial ship channel that connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
France began construction on the canal in 1884 but was unable to complete the project. With new available technology, the United States took up the project and finished it in 1914.
During both French and American control of the canal’s construction, over 25,000 workers lost their lives during its building primarily due to diseases like malaria and yellow fever.
The Panama Canal is said to be one of the most difficult, as well as one of the largest, engineering projects ever attempted. And has been called one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
At each end of the canal, huge ships are mechanically raised up 85 feet by a system of locks and placed in a man-made lake. After crossing the lake, they are lowered onto the other side using the same method.
Every year over 340 million pounds of shipping material passes through the Panama Canal and as of 2014, more than a million ships have crossed its waters.
If it wasn’t for the Panama Canal, ships would have to travel around the tip of South America, Cape Horn, which would add an extra 12,500 miles to the journey.
To see these gigantic ships being lifted up and transported across the canal, visitors to Panama City can take a short car ride to the Miraflores Visitor Center.
Here, there are viewing balconies perched five stories above the canal where you can view this man-made wonder. They also have a restaurant, an IMAX theatre, and a small museum.
2 – Casco Viejo
Casco Viejo, founded in 1673 by the Spanish, is the historical center of Panama City and is characterized by gorgeous colonial mansions, beautiful churches, and great art galleries.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Casco Viejo’s colorful, centuries-old buildings now house a number of trendy cafes, wine bars, and shopping stores.
Be sure to check out one of the district’s many hotels and restaurants that have rooftop bars where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the old city by night. It’s a great way to take a break from gambling in the casino.
At Danilo’s Jazz Bar, founded by famed musician and composer Danilo Perez, you can enjoy some great music from local as well as international musicians.
One of Panama’s primary exports is cocoa, and there are several confectionaries where one can enjoy specialty chocolates that are combined with other local ingredients such as pineapple, coriander, and passionfruit.
The city is also host to several art galleries that showcase local talent through a number of artistic mediums. Such galleries also feature awesome live performances and video screenings.
While you’re walking the cobblestone streets of Casco Viejo, make sure to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral at Cathedral Plaza.
Construction began on this church in 1688, but it wasn’t finished until 1796. Two white bell towers frame a darkened-stone facade and its interior is flushed with Classical-Spanish artwork as well as a host of ornate stained glass windows.
3 – Metropolitan Park
This is the only rainforest located inside the capital of Panama City.
Here, you’ll be able to take in the lush foliage and hear the sounds of Panama’s wildlife along a 90-minute hike up to Ancon Hill.
Once atop Ancon Hill, you’ll have a panoramic view of the entire rainforest and the city beyond.
The trails are paved, and you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of many tropical birds along the way. Perhaps you might even spot a mountain sloth.
4 – Iglesia San Jose
Also located in Casco Viejo, the San Jose Church was built in the 1670s.
The exterior of the church isn’t anything remarkable, but the baroque design of the inner sanctuary is actually pretty extraordinary.
The white columns that line its hall lead visitors to the famed Golden Altar at the back of the church.
Hundreds of years ago, the Golden Altar was actually painted black by Jesuit priests in order to be kept from being stolen by the infamous pirate, Henry Morgan.
The Golden Altar was the only relic saved after Henry Morgan sacked the entire city.
5 – The Biomuseo
Designed by famed museum architect Frank Gehry who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, this iconic museum represents the geography, history, and culture of Panama.
Its exterior of bright colors amongst a series of roofs connecting at divergent angles is meant to symbolize how Panama connects the North and South American continents, its converging ocean currents, and the country’s biodiversity.
The interior design is meant to mirror Panama’s rainforests by displaying giant concrete columns that are like trees sprouting metal branches supporting the roof of the museum.
Eight galleries inside the complex relay the story of the Panamanian isthmus and its enormous impact on the planet’s biodiversity.
There is a three-story projection room that is meant to represent Panama’s ecosystems by immersing visitors in a stunning audiovisual experience.
Also inside the museum, you will find two 30-foot-tall cylindrical aquariums that represent the two oceans that are separated by the isthmus of Panama.
Another interesting structure inside the facility is a series of three fabricated rock formations that show how tectonic plates rose from the earth’s crust over 3 million years ago to form the country of Panama.
6 – Comarca de Guna Yala
Located in the northeastern part of Panama, this is a beautiful and remote stretch of beach that is still inhabited by the indigenous Kuna people.
Just off this small strip of land, you’ll find a series of tiny islands with amazing white sand beaches that are perfect for spending a day by the ocean in complete seclusion and relaxation.
This is truly an authentic way to experience a little piece of paradise, even though this area is much less developed than other beaches in Panama, you can still find resorts here that can provide accommodations.
Do you know of any other awesome spots to visit while in Panama? Let me know what you think in the comments.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
The information found on Gamblingsites.org is for entertainment purposes only. It is a purely informational website that does not accept wagers of any kind. Although certain pages within Gamblingsites.org feature or promote other online websites where users are able to place wagers, we encourage all visitors to confirm the wagering and/or gambling regulations that are applicable in their local jurisdiction (as gambling laws may vary in different states, countries and provinces).
Gamblingsites.org uses affiliates links from some of the sportsbooks/casinos it promotes and reviews, and we may receive compensation from those particular sportsbooks/casinos in certain circumstances. Gamblingsites.org does not promote or endorse any form of wagering or gambling to users under the age of 18. If you believe you have a gambling problem, please visit BeGambleAware or GAMCARE for information and help.