Best Panama Gaming Control Board Online Casinos
Panama has become the Mecca of online casinos, why has Panama won this recognition? The country has a highly tolerant government, educated and bilingual staff, the best infrastructure available in the Caribbean, reliable communication systems, comfortable living conditions, diversity of products and services and few regulations regarding internet gaming.
Casinos evolved in Panama as a tourist attraction during the 1990s. By 1999 there were approximately 30 casinos in Panama. Regulations for casinos in the country date back to 1886 and 1922.
To establish a casino, a Costa Rican corporation must be registered as an administrator. Casinos must be accredited and approved by the Panama Tourist Board. Casinos must be located in a hotel of three stars or more, and at least 100 meters (one block) away from places such as churches, hospitals, clinics and schools. Casinos do not admit children under 18 years of age.
Casinos must pay the municipal operations fee, facilities health permits and any other taxes that apply like any other business established in Panama. Additionally, they must pay 10% for the monthly net profit and for the number of gaming tables they have. They usually pay 50,000 colones (approximately $100 in 2007) per table.
If these requirements are not met, the owner may face jail time and/or cancellation of the casino’s license.
In Panama it is not legal to win or lose money by betting on the outcome of a game or event or to play based on luck and not on a person’s ability to play. For that reason the following games are not allowed in Panama: baccarat, craps, 21, poker, blackjack and lotteries.
The following games or activities are allowed according to the laws of Panama: billiards, card games, basketball, checkers, dominoes, casino, rummy, darts, 13, Caribbean straight poker, or any other game where the result depends on the skills and aptitude of the person to play.
Casinos have games that are within the law, as well as games that are not clearly defined by law. The most common games are: rummy, Caribbean straight poker and pai gow, Chinese style poker. Casinos also have games that are not allowed by law such as roulette and slot machines. However, the decrees that prohibit them are on appeal. For that reason casinos can use the machines until the ruling comes out.
Since Panama’s laws do not allow the collection or payment of winnings or debts resulting from gambling, the gaming industry has implemented a system of “tokens”. Through the system casinos can hold the player responsible for what they owe the casino, which the casino must then pay to the player.
Casinos encourage players to purchase tokens for use on their premises, or give them a line of credit by signing letters of credit, mortgages, promissory notes, or written agreements for payments to be made, and are protected by traditional business laws, not gambling laws.
Panama has been providing licenses to operators within the country as well as worldwide since 2002. The board has strong requirements for operators regarding money laundering policies and software testing, which makes it a reliable and trustworthy license for players, while a stable government and low fees make it an attractive option for operators as well.