The Panama Gaming Control Board (Junta de Control de Juegos) is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing offline and online gambling in Panama.
Panama is a popular destination for online gambling businesses to set up shop, due to its low taxation rates, and the relative ease of acquiring a gaming license.
While the Panama Gaming Control Board isn’t as reputable as some of the world’s other regulators, they are beginning to become recognized as a trustworthy regulator, and in this post we’re going to take a closer look at who the Board are, what they do, and what their complaints procedure looks like.
About The Panama Gaming Control Board
The Panama Gaming Control Board was established in 1998 by Panama’s Ministry of Economy & Finance. It was created in response to the Gaming Decree Law No.2.
The Panama Gaming Control Board was founded as the sole regulatory body in Panama to issue authorisations, contracts and gaming licenses to third-party operators of both brick and mortar, and online gaming establishments.
In the beginning, the Control Board focused solely on land-based casinos and other gaming establishments. When the Panamanian government passed the Online Gaming Act (Resolution No. 65) in 2002, the Control Board started regulating online gambling as well, and in 2003, the Board issued their first online gambling licenses.
Aside from reporting to the government, and advising on certain legislative topics, the Panama Gaming Control Board has a number of responsibilities, including:
- Overseeing and regulating all forms of land-based and online gambling;
- Controlling concensions to private enterprises;
- Ensuring the fairness and randomness of all games offered by operators;
- Processing and either approving or denying licenses for online betting websites;
- Making sure no Panamanian citizens are able to access online gambling services.
The Gaming Control Board is also responsible for carrying out investigations, in instances where licensees are suspected of breaking the terms of their licenses, or where criminal activity is suspected.
In order to receive a license from the Panama Gaming Control Board, operators must submit a detailed application. This application includes various details about the applicants involved in running the gambling business, along with details of the operator’s business plan.
All of the games offered by an operator must undergo 3rd-party testing procedures to ensure their fairness. This testing process ensures that the game’s random number generator (RNG) is operating randomly, and is free from operator interference. Operators must submit their games to an approved testing house.
All of the operator’s servers (the hardware that makes their website run) must also be based within Panama. The Control Board will also ensure that an operator has sufficient financial resources to be able to successfully finance their online betting operation before a license is awarded.
In order to apply for an online gambling license, operators must pay a one-off fee of $10,000 (per domain.) An annual fee is also charged, and this is around $20,000. Operators must also pay a bond to the Control Board, and this is set on a case-by-case basis.
Unlike other jurisdictions, once an operator holds a license from the Panama Gaming Control Board, they are allowed to accept wagers on all forms of allowed betting activities.
Operators must also be able to demonstrate that they can identify different sources of money used in betting, and they must be able to verify the identity of all users of their website.
Once an operator has submitted their license application, the Panama Gaming Control Board will look over it, and make a decision.
Top Panama Gaming Control Board Licensed Casinos
Panama is yet to be seen as one of the most desirable locations for operators, and for this reason, there aren’t too many sites licensed by them. Still, there are a few trusted operators licensed in Panama, and you can see these below:
How To Check If a License is Valid
Unfortunately, it’s incredibly hard to check the validity of a gaming license issued by the Panama Gaming Control Board. Operators are not required to display a license number in their website’s footer area, and all of the sites we found, which hold a license from the Control Board didn’t mention anything about their license on their homepage.
We also were unable to find any official list of licensees on the official Panama Gaming Control Board website. Because of this, we recommend exercise extreme caution when playing at a website licensed by the Control Board.
The Panama Gaming Control Board do not provide any detailed guidance on their complaints procedure. If you experience problems with an operator, you should – in the first instance – try to resolve the complaint directly with the operator. If this fails, then you can try making a general complaint to the Control Board using the contact details listed on this page.
Panama Gaming Control Board Contact Details
Address: Ave. Perú, Calle N° 35 Este, Edificio de Finanzas, Piso 2 y 7