South America Gambling Laws
South American continent is home to multiple nations and cultures, so it should not be a big surprise if you find the gambling laws to be diverse here. The current populating of this area is above four hundred million and there are more than three hundred million people who are eligible for participating in legal gambling.
This fact makes this area a big undiscovered territory for online gambling sites and land based casino operators. The South American continent can be roughly divided between two groups in which one part relates to Brazil and other comprises of all the other countries.
Brazil with half of the population of this continent has always been a hostile country in relation to any sort of gambling. Other countries on other hand provide a patchwork of provision and policies related with gambling.
This makes understanding gambling laws of South America quite daunting. Even with such conditions, the countries of this continent are hosting gambling in one way or another.
If we compare the standards related to gambling industry in this area, the laws related to gambling in South American countries are quite archaic and do not have a parallel relationship with modern gambling laws in other parts of the world.
Gambling Law in Argentina
The federal government of this country does not have any direct control over land based or online gambling. Argentina comprises of twenty three individual provinces and each of them has its own laws guiding the land based gambling.
The history and culture of this country has always been accommodating to all forms of gambling ranging from lotteries to casinos. This has resulted in an enthusiastic growth of gambling industry in this country. Today most of the provinces provide its residents and tourists with legalized gambling options ranging from casino games to horse racing.
The capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires, is home to one of the largest land based casinos of the South America. This city also has a world famous and historical horse racing venue called Palermo Racetrack.
Apart from this there are four other horse racing avenues situated at district of Palermo. Scenario related to sports betting is bit dull here.
Punters are usually availing the services of overseas gaming operators which can be a bit riskier as it is not legal. The other option is to avail the services of local unlicensed bookmakers. Bingo and slot parlours are also very popular in Argentina.
Gambling Law in Bolivia
Bolivia has a somewhat relaxed approach towards all sorts of gambling since the time of its inception as a free country. This approach had a setback in 1938 as a gambling ban was placed on all types of activities related to betting, casino games, bingo, lottery and dominoes.
This ban remained in place till 1996 when govt started giving concessions due to underground cartelization of gambling industry. In that year more than two hundred bingo parlour licensees were granted to curb illegal bingo market.
The land based casinos were legalized in 2002. This was a great opportunity for the international players to invest in this industry but high taxes both on operators and the players spoiled the prospect. In 2007, National Lottery Commission of Charity and Health responsible for administrating casino industry was abolished and other board was formed to oversee such gambling activities. Currently only two companies are licensed to run land based casinos in Bolivia.
This means that availing the services of other non-licensed gaming operator by residents or tourists is illegal. Sports betting and Bingo are technically legal gambling activities but lack of required infrastructure makes them nonexistent in Bolivia.
Gambling Law in Chile
Before 2005, Chile hosted about seven casinos which played a very progressive role in the development of this country. In 1999 a legislative reform package to further modernize the existing gambling industry of this country was introduced.
After a lapse of five year, this amendment was granted which led to creation of “Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego” a gambling commission responsible for licensing and operations of land based casinos. This led to mass renovation of the earlier existing infrastructure of the casinos and even new casinos were licensed with a fifteen years term if they can boost tourism.
Today there are more than twenty casinos operating in this country and provides other facilities such as hotels, eateries and malls in addition to gambling facilities.
Horse racing and bingo are the most popular gambling activities enjoyed by residents of Bolivia. Online gambling is banned in this country, but there are no harsh penalties for the operators as well as the punters.
Gambling Law in Colombia
Colombia currently have more gambling infrastructure as compared to other countries of North America except for Argentina. The gambling scene in this country saw some new opportunities in 1991 when Colombian government amended its gambling laws under a new constitution.
This led to a tax revenue bonanza of more than 500 percent for the government. In order to control illicit gambling, a new bill was introduced in 2009 which led to issuance of ten new gaming licences; extended operations of existing venues and renewal of more than twenty existing contracts.
Today Colombia has more than three thousand gaming outlets ranging from slot parlours to land based casinos. Horse racing and slots are quite popular in Colombia.
Sports betting operations are currently managed by a local firm which allows only wagers to be made on local football matches.
Gambling Law in Ecuador
Before the casino ban imposed by Rafael Correa in 2012, the country of Ecuador was home to more than fifty casinos and bingo stalls. Gambling was a way life for Ecuadorian public and provided required revenues as well as employment.
Before this ban the gambling industry was administered in such a way that it provided the required boost for tourism. It was mandated under law that casino must provide hotel facilities along with gambling services.
The first amendment in the gambling law only authorised five star hotels to provide casino games. Further a ban was imposed on all types of gambling. Today there is only a nationalized lottery available for the residents and there is no other gambling activity allowed in this country.
Gambling Law in Guyana
This tiny nation has been open minded society in relation to all types of gambling activities for a long period of time. Guyana currently has only one casino which provides all types of gambling activities ranging from poker to slot games.
The gambling scenario in this country is guided by the Gambling Prevention Act of 1902 which had been amended several times to allow gambling activities.
The government of Guyana does not allow its residents to access the services provided by the casino. But a lacuna in the gambling act allows a resident guest of the casino to enjoy its services. So the residents just book a room in the casino’s hotel whenever they want to indulge in their favourite gaming activity.
Gambling Law in Paraguay
In 1997, to spur the economic growth of the country, federal government decided to form a National Commission on Games of Chance.
This commission was empowered to regulate all types of gambling activities. All types of gambling activities are now legal in all the seventeen provinces, but the casinos are only allowed in the capital city of Asunción and six provinces.
In 2014, the gambling scene in this country had another opportunity when Hard Rock International decided to construct a chain of casinos. The first casino was constructed under this contract provides five hundred slot machines and thirty casino table games along with hotel with capacity of 250 rooms.