Active players: 450.000
Currency: Jamaican dollar (JMD)
Regulated gambling products: Lotteries, casinos, sports betting
Operator types: Lotteries, online bookies & unlicensed online casinos
Designated authority: Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC)
Jamaica is an island country in the Caribbean, south of Cuba. Its capital and largest city is Kingston. It came under Spanish rule when Columbus arrived in 1494; later on it fell under British rule, until becoming an independent country in 1962. Its economy is rather upper middle, vastly dependent on agriculture and tourism. Locals are passionate about sports, especially football and athletics; over the years it has presented us with top sprinters like Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell.
Gambling in Jamaica has always deeply been part of local culture, and in 1965 came the first organized effort to regulate the sector. However, the 2010 and 2014 amendments are the ones that shape and still regulate it. All forms of land based gambling are legal; as for online gambling in Jamaica, if you’re a local you may only participate in sports betting and lotteries. For tourists it’s all legal, yet the authorities never actually impose any restrictions whatsoever.
There are very few locally licensed Jamaica bookmakers, yet most punters visit online operators anyway. That’s because they search for better odds and wider betting options than the local offering provides. All in all, a very welcoming environment awaits players.
Gambling in Jamaica - 5 things to know
- The legal gambling age is 18
- Land-based gambling licenses are valid for one year
- Concerning the online sector, only lotteries and sports betting are typically legal
- There are a few casinos and quite a few bookmaker shops
- Apart from the very few local operators, numerous online bookies accept Jamaican bettors
Best betting sites in Jamaica
Since the offering is quite rich, in order to save you the hassle of searching, we list the best online bookmakers in Jamaica. These stand out due to their extensive coverage of all major football events and competitions, as well as their bonuses and welcome offers. Check them out.
Jamaica gambling: The law framework
To begin with, keep in mind that the legal age for gambling is 18. The 1965 Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act was the first piece of legislation in the country. It made gambling legal, however, casinos were left out until relatively recently; the 2010 casino act legalized them too.
BGLC, the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission, in place since 1975, is the body that regulates gambling in Jamaica. Its 2014 amendments also legalized the online sector. However, for locals, online betting Jamaica consists of just two forms; online lotteries and online sports betting. Online casinos are not yet regulated and only tourists-or expats-may typically access them.
Authorities on the other hand, don’t go after local residents who partake in any kind of gambling. There are a few locally licensed bookies, namely justbet and island bet. There is a simple process for them to obtain a license through the BGLC; meanwhile, taxation stands at 9% for sports betting operators.
Popular international bookies have not yet applied for local licenses, since the state does not block access to them anyway. And since they offer much greater quality and quantity, locals seem to prefer them over a local Jamaica bookmaker. The options are countless, and the online sports betting scene is very appealing for both punters and operators alike.
Do not forget that the legal gambling age is 18. Jamaica gambling is altogether considered legal. Both locals and tourists may participate in any land based form; as for the online sector, locals may only take part in sports betting and lotteries. Online casinos may only be-legally- accessed by tourists.
If you’re looking to place a bet, Jamaica also has many bookmaker shops. However, the bookmakers we list in our analysis are all offering much more than the few local ones. More generally, there are constant efforts towards a more modern online gambling Jamaica regulation.
Meanwhile, sports betting is absolutely legal for both locals and tourists. Still, try to keep away from dodgy unknown bookmaking sites; this can be easily done by sticking to any of the ones we’ve checked and suggested for you.
Jamaica’s internet penetration is quite high, around 55%. Bank institutes do not block any transactions, therefore players frequently use credit cards and bank wires. Cryptocurrencies are also gaining turf here, despite not being legal. More bookies are steadily accepting cryptos as a form of money transaction. And since sports betting in Jamaica is on the rise, locals also familiarize themselves with this financial novelty.
There has recently been an amendment to the casino legislation; it caters for the development of resorts in order to draw more tourism. The state seems to realize that many of its incoming holiday goers are seeking some gambling pleasure too; and for players who are looking to place a bet, Jamaica already has quite a few options.
The Jamaica bet online industry, though, remains as it stands. However, it’s already a welcoming environment for both players and operators; and there are no indications towards the opposite direction. Improving its services and reinforcing its anti money laundering tactics is almost a certainty in this beautiful nation.
The complete list of bookmakers in Jamaica
There is a rich offering regarding online betting in Jamaica. This is why we list all the available options, so that you can find them in one place. They are all renowned as well as legitimate operators, so just stick to them and bet worry free.
Gambling in Jamaica is legal in all its forms. As for the online sector, sports betting is actually the only type along with lotteries that is also legal for both locals and tourists. So, you may join any bookmaker you want to, while being totally legitimate at the same time.
With its wide coverage of all major football events, Bet365 gladly accepts Jamaican bettors. And along with features like live betting and cash out, it will definitely keep you hooked up. Undoubtedly one of the most renowned bookmakers, awaiting your bets.
Islandbet is offering online betting while holding a local license. It is legitimate and you should face no problems whatsoever. Still, its betting options, special bets, live game coverage and its bonuses, are still away from the standards of most of the Jamaica bookmakers we list above. Checking for yourself will reassure you of that.
William Hill welcomes Jamaican bettors, offering 400+ football markets to bet on. Its full and partial cash out features, along with its famous ‘request a bet’ one, definitely makes it stand out from the competition. It also comes with a great Android and iOS mobile app at your disposal.
Apart from a short offering of local licensed bookies, there are plenty other South American dodgy operators out there. So, simply put, in order to enjoy a safe online betting experience, stick to the ones we list in our analysis; these are all 100% legitimate and you shall have absolutely no issues when betting with them.