Panama, the southernmost country in Central America, is surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, bordering Costa Rica and Colombia. Its territory is crossed by the Panama Canal. Panama is known for its natural beauty, diverse plant and animal life, and rich culture. The capital, Panama City, is the largest city and is home to the majority of the country’s 3.9 million residents. The national currency is the balboa, but the U.S. dollar is also widely used.

Despite its compact size, Panama is an attractive jurisdiction for companies due to the variety of benefits offered. These benefits depend on the chosen legal structure of the company and include attractiveness for foreign direct investment. The country is characterized by political stability, a strong economy, and a strategic location ideal for trade.

The main stock exchange in Panama is the Panama Stock Exchange (BVPSI). In 1970, the government began to actively promote offshore banking by granting tax-exempt status to international operations and eliminating other forms of regulation. This led to a significant inflow of foreign capital, and by the 1980s Panama had become an important financial center in Latin America.

Panama offers an attractive tax system that exempts income earned outside the country from taxation. This makes it an attractive place to do business, especially for companies whose profits come largely from abroad. However, to take advantage of this benefit, companies must meet certain requirements, such as having at least three directors.

The service sector in Panama is the largest in the economy and employs more than half of the population. It contributes significantly to the total GDP, accounting for about 75%.

Panama’s gambling jurisdiction offers infrastructure and resources comparable to the U.S. but at a lower cost. With minimal government intervention and a favorable banking industry for gambling, Panama attracts many entrepreneurs looking to start a business. Tax policies allow companies in the online gambling industry to pay almost no taxes when accepting foreign bets.

The country’s government issues gambling licenses for casino operators, software developers, and service providers in the gambling industry. These licenses allow for a wide range of businesses, including casinos, lotteries, and other gambling entertainment. Panama’s infrastructure provides an extensive set of services for online gambling operators and suppliers, such as dedicated racks with high performance, private cloud services, dedicated servers, and other hosting options.

Advantages of a gambling license in Panama

Obtaining a gambling license in Panama offers several advantages for online gambling operators:

Government regulation of the gambling sector
The Gambling Commission in Panama provides competent regulation and continuous monitoring of gambling operations, ensuring compliance with legislation and high safety standards.

Flexible regulatory environment
Panama has a flexible and responsive regulatory environment for gambling activities, making it easy to obtain licenses and conduct business.

Tax incentives
Tax policies in Panama are favorable to gambling operators. Income earned from activities outside the country is not subject to taxation, which provides a significant financial advantage.

Political stability
Panama is characterized by political stability, which is important for long-term sustainability and business security.

Developed infrastructure
Panama boasts an advanced telecommunications and financial infrastructure, providing a favorable environment for online gambling, including secure transactions and reliable means of communication.

The term of the license is 7 years
The extended license term saves the company’s budget for license renewal.

Wide range of gambling games

The license in Panama allows operators to engage in various forms of online gambling, including casinos, sports betting, poker, and others.

Simplicity of business organization
The process of setting up and obtaining a gambling license in Panama is relatively simple compared to some other jurisdictions, making it attractive to operators seeking simplified regulation.

Robust financial sector
Panama’s well-developed financial sector ensures secure financial transactions, allowing operators to manage their finances efficiently.

Request more info on the Panama Gambling License

Disadvantages of a gambling license in Panama

Before obtaining a gambling license in Panama, it is also important to consider the potential drawbacks of this jurisdiction:

Little awareness among players of what a Panamanian license is
Not all players are aware of the existence of a Panamanian license and the level of protection and regulation it offers. In theory, this could reduce the flow of customers to the website. However, with active customer relations, improved service, and transparency, as well as providing additional information about the license on the site itself, this problem is easily solved.

Strict regulatory oversight
The regulator oversees the gambling activities of companies and requires strict compliance. To run a business that complies with the legislation, it is recommended to contact the professional lawyers of Fast Offshore Licenses.

Small domestic market
Panama, although a major online gambling center, has a small domestic market. Companies that are involved in online gambling in Panama are directing their efforts to conquer the international market.

Reputation in the international market
The government of Panama has faced money laundering problems in the past. The situation is currently under control, but these precedents have hurt the jurisdiction’s reputation.

Panama’s inclusion in the list of jurisdictions that do not cooperate with the EU on tax matters
The attractiveness of a gambling license in Panama may suffer due to the country’s inclusion on the list of jurisdictions that do not cooperate with the EU on tax matters, potentially limiting business opportunities with Europe. However, the country does not have a specific tax on gambling, and Panama’s tax regime is generally favorable to the gambling industry.

Requirements for obtaining a Panama Gambling License

The basic requirements for obtaining a gambling license in Panama include:

  • the applicant must be a legal entity (registered company or corporation) authorized to do business in Panama;
  • the foreign company needs to appoint a local director residing in Panama to interact with the relevant authorities in the country and have the authority to enter into contracts on behalf of the company;
  • a physical office of the company in Panama is required;
  • no share capital requirements;
  • opening a bank account in one of Panama’s banks;
  • payment of license fees;
  • monthly financial statements;
  • adherence to the principles of protection of minors, control of the content of advertising materials and where they are placed;
  • implementation of AML compliance measures;
  • online gambling requires compliance with technical standards that guarantee the fairness of the game, security, and integrity of the gaming platforms.

Procedure for obtaining a license in Panama

The licensing process also includes several stages:

  • Stage 1

Preparation of company documents.

The list of documents to obtain an online gambling license in Panama includes:

  • license application;
  • company registration documents, including articles of incorporation, articles of association, and documents confirming the registration of the company in Panama;
  • a business plan for the gambling services company and other strategic aspects of the business;
  • accounting statements confirming the financial stability of the company;
  • information on the directors of the company, including their biographies and experience in the gambling industry.

It is important to check the current requirements with Fast Offshore Licenses lawyers, as they may change according to legislation.

  • Stage 2

Quality Software Development.

A website with a high-quality and easy-to-use interface that provides a comfortable user experience for players needs to be developed. It is also required to implement specialized software that will track a player’s location and record the sources of their finances. For example, consider that transfers of funds from the US to Panama are not available.

  • Stage 3

Submission of application

The completed application, along with a full set of documents and a recommendation from the bank, must be submitted to the JCJ regulator for review. This process usually takes approximately 2-3 months. If incomplete information is provided, regulators may request additional documents.

  • Stage 4

Payment of fees

Once the application is submitted, a government fee of $40,000 is required to obtain a gaming license in Panama, and a registration fee for the licensing process (approximately $10,000).

  • Stage 5

Obtaining a license

If all steps of the process are followed, your company will be licensed and will be able to legally provide gambling services in Panama. Once licensed, it is important to continue to comply with the regulator’s requirements and ensure the transparency of the platform.

Types of Gambling Licenses in Panama

There are several types of gambling licenses in Panama that allow for various forms of gambling activities. Among them:

  • casino license – allows the operation of traditional casinos with table games and slot machines;
  • bookmaker’s license – allows the establishment and operation of bookmaker’s offices for betting on sports and other events;
  • online Gambling License – allows companies registered in Panama to operate online gambling platforms, including online casinos and betting websites;
  • slot machine license – a specific license for facilities focused on opening slot machine halls;
  • bingo hall license – allows for the organization and operation of bingo halls and related activities.

Each type of license requires compliance with its own set of rules and requirements. Businesses should obtain a specific license that matches their gambling intentions.

How to open a Gambling Company in Panama

To obtain a license in Panama, an online casino must be registered as a business. There are many different business structures in the country, but there is no separate type of corporation dedicated solely to outside business. The most common option for registering an online casino is Sociedad Anonima, which is ideal for international businesses because foreigners can own 100% of the shares.

Legally, the names of the shareholders do not have to be disclosed and their assets are separate from the corporation. However, shareholder information must be provided to the bank with which the corporation opens a bank account. The process of creating such a corporation is simple and takes about 2 weeks.

How to incorporate a company in Panama:

  1. Decide on the name of the company.

The company name must be unique and contain an abbreviation reflecting its legal form. The uniqueness of the chosen company name should be verified with the Panama State Registry.

  1. Prepare the documents and submit them to the Public Registry of Panama.

Before collecting the necessary documents, it is necessary to conduct a background check of all founders for criminal records, as well as to make sure that they have the necessary specialized education and relevant documents.

The list of documents for the registration of Sociedad Anonima includes:

  • Articles of Association, which contain the main provisions of the company, such as name, objectives, shares, and management structure;
  • Memorandum of Association;
  • A copy of the passport and proof of residence (e.g. utility bill) is required for each shareholder and director;
  • if you are unable to attend the incorporation in person, you will need a power of attorney appointing a representative to act on your behalf;

All documents must be notarized by a public notary.

  1. Registration fee.

The state fee for SA registration in Panama is 300 USD.

  1. Obtaining a tax identifier (RUT).

Registro Único del Taxyente (RUT) is a unified register of taxpayers in Panama, which includes all-natural and legal persons obliged to pay taxes in this country. The registration procedure is conducted through the website of the General Directorate of Revenue (Dirección General de Ingresos, DGI).
The registration period is 4-5 working days.

  1. Obtaining a Business Authorization (“Licencia de Funcionamiento”) from the Ministry of Finance and Taxes of Panama.

It is mandatory for all persons doing business in Panama to obtain a business permit. Failure to do so may result in penalties from the Panamanian Ministry of Finance and Taxes. The validity period of the permit ranges from 1 to 5 years, with the possibility of renewal.

  1. Open a corporate bank account.

The process and list of documents to open a corporate bank account in Panama depend on the requirements of the particular bank, but in most cases, you will need the company’s incorporation documents, articles of incorporation, and documents proving the identity and authority of the director. Some banks may also ask for a statement of the company’s account with another bank or a guarantee from an individual. Opening a corporate bank account in Panama takes 1-2 working days.

Gambling consultant in Panama


Inhyuk Suh

Gambling Laws in Panama

In Panama, gambling activities, including both land-based and online platforms, are subject to regulation by the Junta de Control de Juegos (JCJ), established in 1947. The JCJ controls and supervises gambling in the country, issues licenses, and monitors operators to ensure that they operate legally and responsibly.

Regarding the legislative framework, in 1998 Panama passed Law No2 on the Regulation of Gambling, which legalized gambling enterprises in the country, established the procedure for issuing licenses, and defined the powers of the regulatory body Junta de Control de Juegos.

Later, on October 25, 2002, Resolution No. 65 was approved, regulating the conduct of gambling and related activities through electronic communication systems. Then, on November 12, 2002, Panama passed the Online Gaming Law, which established the licensing of electronic gambling. Despite the amendments made from 2003 to 2020 to the 2002 Law, the government decided to make new legislative changes for online gambling. Thus, in 2022, Resolution No25 was passed, aiming to promote gambling activities both among companies operating with residents of Panama and residents of other countries.

The basic rules of Regulation No25 require that a gambling license must be obtained. The licensing process includes compliance with certain rules and regulations such as financial obligations, protection of players’ interests, and countering criminal activities. The law also establishes company and equipment registration requirements, state fees, and regulatory rules, including:

  • annual declaration;
  • ensuring transparency and preventing fraud;
  • maintaining the reputation of the jurisdiction;
  • establishing age limits;
  • taking measures to prevent gambling addiction.

Legislation prohibits persons under the age of 18 from participating in gambling, including online gambling, and operators are required to enforce it.

In addition, businesses wishing to operate in this jurisdiction are required to comply with anti-money laundering regulations, and counter-terrorist financing and maintain high standards of fair dealing with players.

FAQ about a gambling license in Panama.

How can I get a gambling license in Panama?

To obtain a gambling license in Panama, set up a legal entity, develop a quality website, apply to the JCJ with the necessary documents, pass the inspection, pay the fees, and once licensed, comply with JCJ regulations, ensuring transparency and adherence to responsible gaming standards.

How long does it take to get a gambling license in Panama?

The process of obtaining a gambling license in Panama usually takes between 2 and 3 months. However, the duration can vary depending on factors such as the completeness of the application, the speed of regulatory response, and any requests for additional documentation.

How much is a gambling license in Panama?

Obtaining a gaming license in Panama includes a one-time payment of an initial license fee of $40 000 and license processing costs of about $10 000. The license is issued for a 7-year renewable term and the annual license fee is $20 000.

What taxes apply to Panama Gambling License holders?

In general, Panamanian companies pay a corporate income tax of 25% on their income. However, gambling operators may be eligible for a special tax regime that offers an exemption from corporate income tax. This exemption applies to income derived from international gaming activities.

Do Panama Gambling License holders need audits?

Yes, gambling license holders in Panama may be required to undergo regulatory compliance audits to ensure transparency and financial compliance.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.