Panama’s Gaming Control Board (JCJ) has been instructed by the newly installed government of Laurentino ‘Nito’ Cortizo to undertake a review of gambling tax frameworks, revising policy to attract foreign investment helping Panama’s wider economic stakeholders.  

JCJ Secretary Manuel Sanchez, a member of Panama’s Economic Ministry has declared that the control board will eliminate the ‘ineffective’ 5.5% tax on player winnings established by the administration of former President Juan Varela.

Since 2015, Panamanian casino and sports betting incumbents have been forced to apply a 5.5% tax charge on player winnings secured through table games, slot machines and sports wagers.  

Sanchez stated that eliminating the tax charge on player winnings was appropriate, as the unpopular directive had impacted the appeal of the nation’s crucial tourism and leisure industries competing in Central and Latin America.

“The tax on gaming tables is a tribute created in the past administration, which also applies to bingo, casinos, slot machines and sports betting,” he said.

Supporting Nito Cortizo’s mandate, the JCJ underlines that Panama would be better served developing an ‘interconnected system’ which will facilitate the auditing of gambling operators incumbents.

Sanchez added: “We will increase revenues and promote responsible gambling, this set of measures and others will help us to make this activity positively impact the country’s economy.”