Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Guatemala

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Picture of Guatemala's capital, Guatemala City. Gambling in Guatemala is illegal but online gambling is not regulated.

Guide to Gambling in Guatemala

 

Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala is a country located in Central America. It shares borders with Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, Honduras to the east and El Salvador to the southeast. The country’s population is around 16 million, which makes it the most populous nation in Central America. Guatemala’s capital and largest city is Guatemala City with approximately 4,5 million residents in its metropolitan area. The nation’s official language is Spanish.

The territory of modern-day Guatemala was the centerpiece of the Mayan civilization which extended across Mesoamerica. The Spanish Empire conquered the country in the 16th century and remained in control for almost 3 centuries. The Spanish introduced Christianity in the country which became the dominant religion in Guatemala. The country declared independence from Spain in 1821 and became part of the First Mexican Empire. However, the empire was short lived as it was dissolved in 1823. Since then, the country’s history was characterized by military dictatorships and civil wars before becoming a somewhat stable democratic state in the 90s. Today, Guatemala is the largest economy in Central America with a GDP per capita of $5,200. Tourism plays a big part in the country’s growing economy.

Gambling is illegal in Guatemala. Although the 1880 Penal Code forbids all kinds of gambling (except the lottery), it is ignored by operators.* Therefore, there are operating land-based casinos in the country offering the popular casino games like blackjack, roulette, or poker amongst others. The most of these casinos are located in the capital city of Guatemala City. Online gambling, on the other hand, is not yet regulated. Therefore, the only option for Guatemalan citizens to play online is to visit an offshore online casino. Numerous foreign online casinos accept players from Guatemala.

 

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*Gambling in America: An Encyclopedia of History, Issues, and Society

 

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Casino gambling in Guatemala

 

Online casino gambling in Guatemala: not regulated

 

According to the 1880 Penal Code of Guatemala, all forms of gambling are illegal (except the lottery). However, there are operating casinos in the country, the most of them are in Guatemala City. This is an interesting situation as there is not much information of the current stand on gambling in Guatemala online. It seems that the government would like to regulate gambling and because of this, lets the casinos operate.* Online gambling is not yet regulated in the country. This means that there aren’t any domestic online gambling operators in Guatemala as of now. The only option from players to play their favorite games online is to visit an offshore online casino.

 

 

*Guatemala: Proposal to Regulate Gambling

Bingo in Guatemala

 

Online bingo in Guatemala: not regulated

 

Bingo is a quite popular game amongst players worldwide, especially in the United States. Along with the lottery, bingo can be played legally in Guatemala. Therefore, there are many bingo halls throughout the country where players can enjoy this fun little game. Online gambling is not regulated in the country so those who want to play bingo online “have” to visit an offshore online casino.

 

 

Poker in Guatemala

 

Online poker in Guatemala: not regulated

 

Poker is quite possibly the most popular casino game ever created. The main reasons behind its ever growing popularity are the constant television broadcasts, regularly held tournaments, and the game’s competitive nature. Gambling is considered illegal in Guatemala but despite the 1880 Penal Code (which forbids all kinds of gambling) there are operating casinos throughout the country with poker tables. Online gambling is not regulated right now, so players from Guatemala can enjoy poker at numerous offshore online casinos.

 

Sports betting in Guatemala

 

Online sports betting in Guatemala: not regulated

 

Sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling in the world. Gambling is illegal in Guatemala according to the 1880 Penal Code but it doesn’t stop operators to provide gambling in the country. Therefore, there are land-based gambling establishments operating in the country offering sports betting too along with other popular casino games. Online gambling is not regulated at all in Guatemala, so players can only bet on sports at an offshore online bookmaker.

 

 

Lottery in Guatemala

 

Online lottery in Guatemala: not regulated

 

Arguably, the lottery is the most common form of gambling out there. It is safe to say that where gambling is legal there is a national lottery. The lottery is legal in Guatemala and the only licensed provider in the country at the moment is a company called Supreme Ventures Ltd. The company can draw lotteries online too. However, despite this, online gambling is not regulated at all. So players from Guatemala can play different kinds of lotteries online at an offshore gambling provider too.

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in Guatemala

 

Bitcoin gambling in Guatemala: not regulated

 

Bitcoin is a digital currency often referred to as a “cryptocurrency” invented by a mysterious person under the moniker of Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Bitcoin quickly became popular worldwide as an alternative mean of payment. Bitcoin gambling appeared shortly after the introduction of the digital currency and continues to grow in popularity as more and more online casinos started to specialize in it. However, Bitcoin is still a relatively new phenomenon son only just a handful of countries regulates it as of now. Some countries see Bitcoin as an asset rather than a currency (like Norway or Lithuania for example). Bitcoin trades mostly occur via the internet so Bitcoin gambling is technically a form of online gambling which is not regulated in Guatemala. As of now, there aren’t any specific laws in Guatemala concerning Bitcoin gambling or Bitcoin in general, though.

 

 

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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2016.02.22.

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Simon's Guide to Gambling in Guatemala
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An overview of gambling's legal status in Guatemala.
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