Punters in Panama wagered 2.117 billion dollars last year, according to the report released by the State Gaming Control Board (JCJ). This marks a massive 35% increase from the year before, marking the steepest growth in 11 years.
Slot machines contributed the most to this growth, as 80% of this money was dropped in them. Revenues from some other traditional gambling activities, such as the country’s “Presidente Remon” hippodrome and various sports halls, stagnated throughout the year as the appetite to bet on sports in Panama was apparently not very high.
Online revenues have also been on the rise, as local regulations are overall rather permissive and provide ample opportunity for the players to frequent Panamanian internet casino.
If the amount spent on tickets through the National Lottery is also added to the equation, Panamanian players spent a total of 2.618 billion dollars on gambling, most of it in casinos and arcades.
Under Panamanian gambling laws there is no limit on the number of casinos that may be opened in the capital, but they must be operated as part of a 300-rom hotel complex.
The country has issued 67 licenses to operate various gambling establishments and 48 of these are located in Panama Province, including the capital. There are currently 17 proper casinos in Panama, of which 9 are located in the capital Panama City.
According to press reports this year will see the opening of three new casinos in the capital.