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Betting Sites in Guatemala

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.

Guatemala Betting Sites

guatemala iconWith 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.

Gambling in Guatemala - 5 Things to Know

  • 1
    All forms of land-based gambling are, at least theoretically, illegal
  • 2
    The legal age to enter a casino or betting shop is 18
  • 3
    Access to online bookies is absolutely unmonitored
  • 4
    There are no reports of prosecuting online bettors
  • 5
    Lately, there have been talks on implementing a new gambling law framework

General info

Population: 17.500.000

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

Status: Unregulated

Is Online Gambling in Guatemala Legal?

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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 That’s according to an outdated Penal Code of 1880, which still typically stands.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 favour 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 one of the renowned international or local bookies and avoid brands such as Betcris Guatemala.

Essential Information for Bettors

BMB_Best IconThere 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 for 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.

How to Deposit at Online Bookies

BMB_Betting OddsBetting is typically illegal, yet the online sector is not referred to 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

BMB_Question MarkThe 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 favour of both the state and the players. We have to sit tight and wait to see how things will unfold.

How is Gambling in the Neighbouring Countries

Gambling is a common and legal activity in many countries around the world, including Guatemala's neighbouring countries of Mexico, Belize, and El Salvador. Each country has its own laws and regulations regarding gambling, as well as its own attractions and facilities for gamblers.

Mexico: The Mexican government regulates all gambling activities in the country, but it is not focused on online betting. Thou there are bookies that already have a license and can operate legally, many players still prefer the Mexican betting sites that provide the opportunity to remain low-key. 

Belize: has all forms of gambling legal, be it in physical establishments or online. The only issue for Belizians is being unable to register with a bookmaker that has a local license. But this does not stop international bookmakers to offer Belize gambling sites that are licensed offshore. 

El Salvador: has a completely unregulated betting scene. though officially illegal, you can even find land-based casinos and different kinds of gambling throughout the country. You must avoid the street "booking agents" that might approach you and instead enjoy the haven of El Salvador's betting sites online.

Q: Is it safe to bet online in Guatemala?

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.

Q: What’s the best betting site in Guatemala?

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.

Q: Is online betting legal in Guatemala?

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.

Q: Is Bet365 available to bettors from Guatemala?

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.

Q: Does 22bet accept Guatemalan bettors?

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.

Q: What’s the best way to top up my account?

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.

Q: Are my gambling winnings taxed?

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.

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