Panama: Gaming Control Board is working against money laundering and tax fraud

The Gaming Control Board of Panama is enhancing procedures to better supervise the activity.

The agency uses new technologies and updates its procedural manuals to adjust the control of the activities of the sector in the country, after detecting in 2019 a US$1.5 million deficit in the collection of taxes.

The Executive Secretariat of the Gaming Control Board (JCJ) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Panama has increased the number of inspectors and auditors, and initiated the implementation of greater use of technology in their functions. The organism is taking a series of actions to improve the supervision of the industry. Among others, it was mentioned the programming of the development of initiatives such as the interconnection of slot machines, the incorporation of a chip in Type C machines and the debate about the adequate regulation of Internet gambling.

Similarly, the JCJ said that, in conjunction with the sector, it is progressing in the search for a suitable mechanism to specify the elimination of the 5.5 percent tax on gaming tables, a tribute that has been damaging casinos and tourism since 2015, as well as the State itself, which has stopped receiving more than US$20 million in the last four years.

Besides, 14 control procedure manuals were reviewed and evaluated. Type C machines will include a new chip and Type A machines will be interconnected, among other operations which will allow real-time monitoring of income and avoid money laundering and tax fraud. In addition, an approach meeting was held to reach an agreement with the Savings Bank in order for casino operators and their collaborators to have access to banking services.