Gambling has been a crisis-resilient industry in Panama, judging from the numbers released recently by the country’s Ministry of Finance (MEF). Panamanian gambling laws allow virtually all forms of gambling, including virtual ones, and the industry is a significant source of income and employment in the country.
Summarizing the revenues from the nation’s gambling concessions for Q1 2013, MEF data shows a 14.85% year-on-year increase, to a total of USD 19.42 million. February was the most fruitful month within this 3-month period, contributing USD 7.46 million to this amount.
Looking further into these figures shows that the bulk of the government’s tax revenue came from the concessions of slot machines operating in casinos and slot halls. According to Panama’s gaming authority JCJ, these payments amounted to USD 4.2 million in February.
The rest of the payments came from annual fees paid by the licensed Panamanian internet casino and sportsbooks, both on- and offline.
What the numbers also tell is the story of playing bingo in Panama becoming ever more popular. Many concessionaires are paying the state for the privilege of featuring this particular game in their casinos or for running standalone Bingo halls.
Even though the total tax revenue from Bingo concessions is very low (under 200K in Q1), that is due to the low amounts wagered in this particular variety of gambling.