What Are the Positive and Negative Aspects of Online Gaming Licensing in Panama

Last Modified:5 Jun 2023 08:00:13
What Are the Positive and Negative Aspects of Online Gaming Licensing in Panama
Looking to enter the online gaming industry and considering making Panama your home base? This is a comprehensive guide covering the pros, cons, costs and process of obtaining an online gambling license in this Latin American country. In particular, Panama is known for its strategic geographic location, modern infrastructure and favorable gaming regulations thanks to its specific online gambling laws.

Understand the Landscape

The Panama Gaming Control Commission, also known as the Junta de Control de Juegos, is responsible for regulating the gambling industry, including issuing online gaming licenses.

 Thanks to favorable laws, tax incentives and modern infrastructure, Panama presents an attractive prospect for online gaming operators.

Benefits of a Panama Gaming License

1. Tax benefits: Panama implements a territorial tax system.
This means that online gambling organizations registered in Panama but operating outside of Panama are not subject to income tax on their worldwide income.
2. Privacy Protection: Panama's legal system provides important privacy protections for businesses and their owners, preventing their identities from being revealed.
3. Global Operations: Panama has no restrictions on the geographic scope of its online gaming services.
4. Political and Economic Stability: Panama has a stable political and economic environment that makes it an attractive jurisdiction for online gaming companies.


Disadvantages of a Panama Gaming License

1. Regulatory issues.
Obtaining an online gambling license in Panama requires navigating complex regulations that can be difficult without proper legal advice.
2. Limited domestic market. Despite being a major online gaming hub, Panama has a relatively small domestic market.
Most of the online gambling companies in Panama are mainly focused on the international market.
3. International perception: Panama has a history of transparency and money laundering issues that have affected its international reputation.

Moving Toward Your License

Step 1. Company Formation: The first step is to establish a company in Panama.
It can be a newly established company or a company registered in foreign countries.
Step 2. Apply: After incorporation, submit an application to the Panama Gaming Control Commission specifying your company, key players and the games you intend to offer.
Step 3. Payment of license fee: Upon approval, the initial license fee and the annual license fee are paid.
Step 4. Technical evaluation. After payment, your online gaming platform will undergo a technical audit to determine its fairness and security.
Step 5. Obtaining a license. If the notice is satisfactory, the Gambling Control Commission will issue your licence.


Cost Impact

As of my last update, the initial license application fee in Panama is $40,000. In addition, there is an annual license fee of $20,000. Other potential costs may include legal and financial advice, as well as costs associated with setting up and maintaining an online gaming system.


Banking and payment systems

Online gambling companies licensed in Panama usually have access to several banking and payment systems. A number of international and domestic banks provide such companies with corporate banking services, including account opening and transaction processing.


In addition, online payment platforms, credit card processors and cryptocurrency payment gateways can be integrated into your gaming platform to facilitate transactions with players around the world.

Finally, obtaining an online gambling license in Panama, while dealing with complex regulation, can be very rewarding for the right company. As with all legal and financial undertakings, due diligence and professional advice is highly recommended before embarking on this journey. 

Author: Pooyan Ghamari, Swiss Economist 

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