Panama Gambling License Info
Panama is one of the smaller licensing jurisdictions for online gambling, but there are a few recognizable brands that call it home. It's an attractive place to launch an operation due to minimal governmental interference and a gambling-friendly banking industry. Additionally, the country's infrastructure is modern and well-maintained in urban areas.
Panama became a licensing jurisdiction in 2002 with the passage of the Online Gaming Act of 2002. The first license was issued in 2003 and Panama has remained in the business ever since. The Junta de Control de Juegos (Gaming Control Board) is responsible for issuing licenses and monitoring the operations of all licensed gambling sites.
Licensing Process and Fees
Anyone interested in hosting a gaming company in Panama must submit an application and open the business for inspection for as long as it remains in business. The initial inspection includes a criminal background check, business processes analysis, and testing of the "fairness" of all games of chance.
Once approved, the operator is given a "master's license." Master license holders may grant sub-licenses to other operators in certain circumstances. License holders must also keep enough cash on hand to honor all obligations. All financial transactions must be recorded and available for review at any time.
- Application and first year: $40,000
- Yearly fee after first year: $20,000
- Sublicense yearly fee: $20,000
Is a Gambling License From Panama a Reliable Indicator of Quality?
So you have an online casino in mind and you see it's licensed in Panama. Does that mean anything? Based on past events, we would have to say no. There are both good and bad sites licensed by the local authority. You would be better-served judging any operators by their individual track records rather than their licensing status in Panama.
For example, one of our favorite all-around gambling sites (BetOnline) is based out of Panama. However, the reason we like BetOnline has nothing to do with the fact that they have a license from Panama. We like them because they take care of players, process withdrawals, and run an ethical business.
On the other hand, the Gaming Control Board still lists UltimateBet.com as an active licensee. If you're not familiar with Ultimate Bet, they collapsed several years ago after suffering from a major cheating scandal perpetrated by employees of the site. This all went down in 2011 so it's kind of sad to see UB still listed as a licensed poker room.
We would say that a license from Panama simply means the gambling site chose to base its operations there. They have the blessing of the government to host real money games and were able to pass the initial licensing process. The license itself offers no guarantee beyond that.
If you are interested in learning more about the online gambling license in Panama you can visit their website or contact them through phone or email. Below we have listed out all of this information for your convenience in case you are looking for more information.
Phone: (+507) 507-7600
Author: Wesley Burns
Updated: March 2015