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Central And South America Poker Laws

In our section on Central and South America we are including Central American countries, South American countries, as well as Mexico and the Caribbean, even though they are often considered part of North America. We already have separate sections for the U.S. and Canada so we’re putting the rest of the countries in the Americas in this present section for purposes of organization.

So there is quite a diversity of countries and territories on this list, and we refer to all autonomous territories as countries on this site by the way, and this is going to also involve quite a diversity of approaches to gambling and poker as well as different degrees of accessibility to them as well, so this is exactly why each country needs to have its own page and discussion.

So I’ll give you a little overview of the region here, but in order to find detailed information on each country, you will of course need to check out the page on the poker and gambling laws as well as a general discussion of poker and gambling for each individual country.

Almost all of the countries in Central and South America have legalized gambling and poker, and this is a region that is also experiencing a lot of growth and technological change. Some countries are very progressive in this regard, while others may be well behind the times and may take a more conservative view of all of this. 

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Mexico And Central America

Mexico is one of those countries that, in spite of all the tourism they get, haven’t really gotten with the gambling craze very much yet, and there are only 3 casinos in the country right now. However, there is a movement to look to really expand this and in the coming years it’s expected to really take off, and perhaps also look to expand the live poker options here as well.

Instead of bringing in the gambling tourists, a lot of Mexicans actually travel to Las Vegas to gamble, so the goal here is to not only bring in more gamblers but to give their own people better options here.

Costa Rica is more progressive when it comes to gambling though, with many casinos including 4 of them where you can play live poker. Gambling tourism is seen as something that the Costa Ricans welcome, and they have benefited from this quite a bit over the years.

Belize is starting to become more progressive with their gambling laws and things are starting to move in the right direction there now, and they have a couple of casinos there now. El Salvador isn’t quite as accepting of gambling but are now allowing at least a limited amount of it, although they only have 1 casino operating.

Gambling is pretty big in Panama and they have 37 casinos operating now and business at them is doing well, although only 3 have poker tables, and poker here could stand some more growth, as is the case with a lot of countries in this region, whose land based gambling focuses almost entirely on traditional casino games.

Nicaragua has a total of 10 casinos now and does spread out a little poker as well. Gambling isn’t quite as popular in El Salvador but they do have a single casino as well. So all of these countries do at least offer at least a little land based gambling action and gambling is legal in all of them.

 

South America and the Caribbean

The king of South American gambling is definitely Argentina, who have a total of 79 casinos operating these days and the list is growing. This is also the place in South America which has the most live poker venues with 15, although they do tend to be pretty small with only a few tables offered at each.

Ecuador used to have a lot of gambling going on and at one time had quite a few casinos but they have all been shut down now after a referendum to ban legal gambling passed. So they have gone the way of Brazil and outlawed gambling and poker, although this doesn’t mean people don’t partake in it.

Venezuela has a few places you can gamble and play poker at and poker is particularly popular in this country. Poker is also known to be popular in Suriname although there’s limited live poker here if you don’t count casino poker such as Caribbean Stud.

Columbia is another country where poker is pretty popular and there are a lot of places to gamble in Columbia besides their casinos, and gambling is huge here. Poker is actually pretty popular in South America overall, and this is the case with Chili, Paraguay, and Uruguay as well, who all have both land based gambling and poker options.

Peru also has quite a few gambling options, with 48 casinos operating here, although only 1 has a poker room with just 2 tables. Guyana even has casino gambling, although there’s just 1 in operation so far.

The Caribbean has 15 countries that offer gambling these days, with a total of 67 casinos operating, with a total of 6 actual poker rooms, which isn’t a lot considering how many casinos they have, but perhaps as poker experiences more growth, we’ll see more demand for this by tourists.

 

Online Poker In Central and South America

Online poker is really growing in this part of the world and it’s also being promoted a lot more heavily these days, particularly by Poker Stars with their Latin Poker Tour, which is popularizing the game of poker in both Central and South America.

Internet access in Central and South America is actually pretty widespread, with about half of the population of this region being able to go online. When you put that together with the much more liberal approach to gambling that you see here generally compared to some other regions of the world, this makes this market pretty appealing indeed.

So while online poker has leveled off in a lot of countries, it continues to grow here and Latin America is considered by many to be poker’s new frontier, and there are people in the online poker industry that are pretty excited about the prospects here going forward.

Unlike areas such as India and China where the government strongly opposes online gambling, and areas such as much of Africa which is underdeveloped but lacks the proper infrastructure, things are ripe for Central and South America to grow even further.

So to discover what the legal situation as well as the availability of poker is in each of the countries in the region, as well as the best places to play online poker for residents of each country, check out each country’s pages.

 

Poker Laws in South America (by country)

This is our detailed list of countries in South America that have some type of online gaming presence. We break down online poker laws and other live poker options (if applicable) in each country listed below.
ArgentinaGuyana
BoliviaParaguay
BrazilPeru
ChileSouth Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (UK)
ColombiaSuriname
EcuadorUruguay
Falkland Islands (UK)Venezuela
French Guiana (France)

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