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
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
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.
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