Active players: 3.600.000
Currency: Venezuelan bolivar (VES)
Regulated gambling products: Betting, casino games, horse racing, lottery
Designated authority: Comision Nacional de Casinos
Operator types: Unlicensed online bookies & casinos, licensed casinos, state lottery
Venezuela is a South American country, right in the center of the continent’s north coast. As is common with many Latin American nations, it was under Spanish rule until 1811. It later gained its independence as part of Gran Colombia; until 1830, when it became a separate country. Having very rich oil reserves and a developing economy, the country also relies on tourism and agriculture. Venezuela has suffered much political instability and is now a presidential constitutional republic, since 1999.
Gambling is legal, and respective laws have been in place since 1997. Casinos operate legally and betting is taking place within their premises. A black market has however emerged, with many players betting on notorious illegal bookies. In addition, the law does not cover the online gambling sector at all. So, there are no restrictions on online sports betting. Consequently, locals are free to access sportsbooks in Venezuela and place their bets online.
Gambling in Venezuela - 5 things to know
- All forms of land-based gambling are legal and regulated
- The legal gambling age is 18
- No licensed local bookies exist
- Horse racing is very popular among bettors
- There are no restrictions against online betting operators
Best sportsbooks in Venezuela
Among the many sportsbooks Venezuela has to offer, we list the ones that stand out. They offer the highest odds, as well as a great range of betting markets on various sports along with appealing promotions.
Betting in Venezuela: The gambling law framework
All land-based forms of gambling are legal in Venezuela. The country’s first organized attempt to regulate the sector came in 1997. That’s when the 'Act of Control on Casinos, Bingo Halls and Slot Machines' was enacted. The CNC, 'National Commission for Casinos, Bingo Halls and Slot Machines' is the local regulator. It acts under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Justice and Peace. For a company to acquire a gambling license, it must operate a casino or a gambling hall. Casinos, in particular, must operate inside the premises of 5-star hotels in tourist areas. They need to have at least 200 rooms and pay a 20% tax on their GGR.
There are currently just a handful of casinos countrywide. A license is valid for an initial 10-year period. Nonetheless, only two have been given to online casino operators; while no Venezuela sportsbook ever got one. The latest amendments to the law were made in 2011 and ever since there have only been talks concerning the online gambling sector. Since the law does not apply to betting sites in Venezuela; players are facing no restrictions whatsoever.
Essential information for bettors
There are no betting shops; so, betting is taking place within designated casinos, operating inside hotels. A vivid black market has been apparent for years. That’s due to the fact that many people can’t visit those casinos to place their bets. Try to stay away from all gambling premises you may come across, simply because they will be illegal. There’s no local licensed sportsbook Venezuela; yet, you’ll face no restrictions when accessing any online ones. That is because all supervision is focusing solely on land-based facilities. The tax applying on sports betting and casino winnings is at a massive 34%. Plus, a 16% tax applies on winnings deriving from lottery and horse racing. Of course, though, that does not apply to online gambling. Your winnings will not be subject to any taxation; since it falls under no law framework.
Betting online is not illegal. So, in the absence of restrictions; locals have many payment options available. Credit/debit cards and bank wire are a common practice here. Plus, e-wallets are also offering their services in Venezuela; providing fast and reliable transactions. Also, keep an eye on currency conversion fees. No online bookmakers offer Venezuelan bolivar accounts, apart from a few dodgy ones; like Betcris Venezuela, which we do not recommend. Still, with no restrictions from banks or the state; you can access respectable international bookies which offer a wide array of deposit methods.
The future of online gambling in Venezuela
The online gambling environment has not yet shaped up. The current administration has so far been more welcoming towards gambling, in relation to the previous ones. There are increasing voices towards the online gambling Venezuela regulation; but nobody knows what will eventually happen. President Maduro has reportedly recently agreed to the opening of a casino within the famous Humboldt Hotel. What will make it stand out, is that players will only be able to gamble using Petro (petromoneda) - the local cryptocurrency. Tough to say though if international bookies will be interested in acquiring local licenses. Especially in a country with an overall strict stance towards foreign investments. The next few years will be revealing, to all interested parts.
After a thorough analysis of the local gambling environment, we now list all the available bookies for Venezuelan players. Check them out and choose the one that best suits your needs.
One of the most popular international bookies, Betfair Venezuela accepts local players. With over two decades of experience, it covers all major sporting events with some of the best odds in the business.
There’s a massive tax on winnings from gambling in the country at 34%, or at 16% if they derive from lotteries and horse racing. All this can of course be avoided if you simply pick one of the renowned international bookies we list above.
No, it is not. Bet365 Venezuela is one of the popular international bookmakers that is not available to local players. 1xBet though serves as a decent alternative, due to its high odds and great services.
There are no bookies who will allow you to open a Venezuelan bolivar account, apart from some locally operating dodgy ones; such as Betcris. Avoid them and stick to the reputable online bookies that we list in our text.
The online gambling sector does not fall under any legislation in Venezuela. Nonetheless, online betting is considered and is treated as perfectly legal. Moreover, land-based betting is considered legal too; however no appropriate legal framework is covering it either.
It is totally safe to join any of the renowned bookies you will find in our analysis. They are all operating under reputable licenses and it is guaranteed that you will have a safe betting experience when joining them.
Adding and withdrawing funds to and from your online betting account should constitute no problem. Either use your credit/debit card or, even better, sign up with an e-wallet to enjoy fast and anonymous transactions.