Active players: 2.500.000
Currency: Quetzal (GTQ)
Regulated gambling products: Lottery, bingo
Designated authority: No designated gambling authority
Operator types: Unlicensed online bookmakers & casinos, land-based casinos & betting shops
Guatemala is a country in Central America, between Mexico and El Salvador. The famous Maya civilization had its base in the territory of what today is Guatemala. During the 16th century, most of it was under Spanish rule. It gained its independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America; which in turn dissolved in 1841. As for gambling, an archaic 1880 Penal Code is surprisingly still the country’s only piece of legislation. It deems all forms to be illegal, apart from bingo and lottery. However, it seems to be largely ignored, leaving a clearly unregulated environment. Also, apparently the law does not mention the online sector at all. No restrictions are in place, especially around international betting sites in Guatemala; so, players are making the most of it.
Gambling in Guatemala - 5 things to know
- All forms of land-based gambling are, at least theoretically, illegal
- The legal age to enter a casino or betting shop is 18
- Access to online bookies is absolutely unmonitored
- There are no reports of prosecuting online bettors
- Lately, there have been talks on implementing a new gambling law framework
Best betting sites in Guatemala
With a plethora of online options, we hereby list the best Guatemala betting sites. They all offer the Spanish language and have a very rich array of sports and leagues to bet on. Also, keep an eye on their daily promotions.
Betting in Guatemala: The gambling law framework
All forms of gambling are illegal, apart from lottery and bingo. That’s according to an outdated Penal Code of 1880, which still typically stands. We say typically because, despite the illegality, both casinos and betting shops can be found in most major cities. Players are under no circumstances kept away from gambling. No prosecutions are taking place and no regulatory body exists either. There have been voices towards the legalization of the sector; to combat money laundering phenomena and to boost the economy through taxation.
As it stands, a 2011 draft law (No. 4294) is still left aside, despite many being in favor of implementing it. Among others, it proposes a 3% tax on all types of gambling providers. It also proposes the establishment of a regulatory body under the Ministry of Finance. Eventually, only time will prove when and if it will be enacted. One thing is for sure though; if you’d like to place a bet, Guatemala is offering many options. A piece of advice is that if you are going to bet online, pick a renowned bookmaker. So, avoid local ones like Betcris Guatemala.
Essential information for bettors
There are many betting shops in Guatemala which are vastly popular among locals. You don’t have to worry about law enforcement, since the state doesn't seem eager to prosecute players. Yet, you must be at least 18 years old to enter such premises and to collect winnings. Moreover, there’s obviously no tax on betting winnings, since they fall under no appropriate ruling. Lottery winnings are the exception to the rule, as they are taxed at a standard 10%. Remember that it's better to do your gambling online. Guatemalan betting sites offer a wide array of markets on various sports. To sum up, don’t worry about the authorities, especially when betting online. You should expect a very relaxed stance from the state whatsoever.
Bet Guatemala: How to deposit at online bookies
Betting is typically illegal, yet the online sector is not referred, anywhere. In the absence of restrictions, more and more are trying their luck online. E-wallets are reliable options for Guatemala online betting, providing fast and secure transactions. Still, if you want to go traditionally, you shall face no problems with either credit cards or bank transfers. Also, always check each bookie’s currency conversion fees. However keep in mind that with some bookmakers you may also open Quetzal accounts, like with 1xBet or Megapari.
The future of online gambling in Guatemala
The Guatemala gambling landscape is one of the rarest in the world. Gambling being typically illegal, yet practiced almost everywhere with no restrictions, instantly constitutes a paradox. However, according to many reports, much talk has been taking place around the legalization of the sector. The government realizes that an organized law framework would automatically bring money into the state treasury through taxation. So, some radical changes in Guatemala could take place in the coming years. If that happens, a much more competitive gambling environment would emerge. Such an update would probably be in favor of both the state and the players. We just have to sit tight and wait to see how things will unfold.
The complete list of bookmakers in Guatemala
Having analyzed the local gambling landscape, we now list all the Guatemalan online bookies. Check them out and choose the one that suits you best.
Betting online requires one main thing. That’s to know who you’re placing your bets on. Stick to any of the bookies we list here and you will be enjoying a reliable and totally safe betting experience.
With many top bookies offering their services in the country, should we have to pick one, that’d be 1xBet. It allows you to bet on your local currency and in Spanish too. Moreover, its market coverage per event along with its huge payout on major football leagues (98%) is unmatched.
In terms of legislation, the country’s law is still a very old one. There’s no referral on the online sector. Thus, online betting is largely considered to be legal and absolutely no restrictions or prosecutions have been mentioned.
With one of the biggest in-play betting arrays and countless events on live streaming; Bet365 Guatemala is one of the most renowned online bookies welcoming local players.
With up to 60,000 pre-match events on offer, live streaming on many matches and a localized interface, 22bet gladly accepts Guatemalans on its site. Daily promotions also await players.
There are no restrictions concerning topping up your account. However, the use of an e-wallet will guarantee fast and reliable transactions; all through a player-friendly interface.
The absence of a regulatory body in Guatemala, automatically means that there’s no such tax. Even if a law is enacted, it will still mainly apply to land-based gambling. So, your online betting winnings are all yours.