Panama’s new government calls for review of gambling taxation

Panama’s Gaming Control Board (JCJ) has confirmed that it will review its tax frameworks, seeking to revise taxation policies in order to make its gambling market more attractive to foreign investment.

Central to JCJ’s revision will be an assessment on eliminating the enforced ‘5.5% tax on player winnings‘ applied across casino games, slot machines and sports wagering.

The review of Panama’s gambling taxation frameworks will be undertaken by the executive of newly elected President Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo of the ‘Democratic Revolution Party (PRD)’.

Taking office last July, Cortizo underlined that the PRD would revive Panama’s economy by prioritising national enterprises through strategic investment, whilst improving governance of industries helping long-term debt reduction.

Confirming the review, Manuel Sanchez – JCJ Secretary and a member of Panama’s Economic Ministry – stated that Panama’s tax on player winnings had been a wider hindrance on the nation’s crucial leisure and tourism industries.

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

Supporting PRD’s economic mandate, the JCJ underlines that Panama would be better served implementing an ‘interconnected system’ facilitating the auditing of gambling operators, whilst further modernising the nation’s gambling structures.

JCJ figures details that since 2014, gambling tax contribution has been in decline, with Panama’s existing frameworks falling consecutively below the Balboas ($ pegged) 95 million target.

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.”

 

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