Many foreigners have come to Panama in order to start casinos
located within the numerous hotels and resorts located across
While this can be a lucrative and profitable business if not
properly funded or managed correctly the entire investment could
be at risk. Like many countries concerned about shady characters
or under capitalized investors starting casinos Panama has rules
and regulations to prevent such errors.
The Law No.2 of 1998 established the Department of Games within
the Ministry of Economics & Finance to control casinos and issue
Ministry of Economics & Finance lists the following
requirements to start Casino in Panama:
1. File a Power of Attorney and request for casino license
through Panama attorney. The application must contain:
2. Name of the applicant.
3. Location of the Game Room.
4. Submit business plan that indicates the number of arcades
which the applicant intends to operate and their location,
amount and type of gaming tables and slot machines Type â€œAâ€
which the casino will operate.
5. Names of people directly or indirectly involved in the
proposed transaction and the nature of such interest (such
information includes shareholders, directors, officers, legal
representative of the company, in case of a legal entity).
6. Complete information on the personal, criminal, commercial
and financial backgrounds and relevant aspects of each director,
officer, management employees, each shareholder owning ten
percent (10%) or more of the shares of the applicant's
corporation, and any person that, in the opinion of the Director
of Gaming, have a significant relationship with the proposed
transaction, covering the ten (10) years prior to the date of
filing of such application.
7. Submit duly authenticated documents proving the establishment
and enforcement of the legal entity or certifying the identity
of the natural person, if applicable.
8. Provide information on the financial structure of the legal
entity, including a list of all outstanding shares.
9. Submit certificate issued by the secretary of the company
stating the names of each shareholder.
10. Submit certification from the secretary of the society in
which lists all loans, mortgages, trusts, liens, and outstanding
11. Submit certification signed by the company secretary which
lists the names of people whose benefits, salaries or fees
correspond to the 10 highest payrolls, whether or not directors,
officers or employees of the applicant's company.
12. Indicate the procedures used or to be used to award bonuses
and profit sharing.
13. Submit copies of all contracts and subcontracts relating to
the proposed transaction.
14. Present balance sheet income statement, duly certified by a
certified public accountant, covering the three (3) fiscal years
preceding the date of application.
15. Copies of tax returns for the last three (3) years or
estimated income statement.
16. File investigation forms issued by the Gaming Control Board
for those who occupy positions of trust, including Directors,
Officers, and Shareholders.
The Panama Gaming Control Board will set the minimum fee per
month. If the casino is located in a designated area, the casino
will either pay the minimum set fee amount or 10% of the monthly
gross revenues, whichever is greater.
If the casino is located outside the designated area, it will
pay 10% of their income.
Opening a Panama Slot Machine establishment is a lot easier than
opening a Panama Casino.
Law No.2 of 1998 established the Gaming Control Board under the
Ministry of Economics & Finance.
A business wishing to start a business which only offers gaming
machines like slot machines needs to apply for a Type C Gaming
Machine Hall license.
The requirements to obtain this license are:
1. Provide digital fingerprints;
2. Provide two (2) recent passport size photographs;
3. Provide a criminal background check from the police in your
4. Provide a copy of your photo ID (passport or Panama ID card).