Active players: 850.000
Currency: Cordoba (NIO)
Regulated gambling products: Lotteries, casinos, sports betting
Operator types: Lotteries, casinos, unlicensed online bookies & casinos
Designated authority: No specific authority just the Ministry of Finance
Nicaragua is a Central American country, next to Honduras and Costa Rica. The capital and largest city is Managua. It has been under Spanish rule through its long history; parts of the country also fell under British and Mexican control later on. Eventually, it gained its independence in 1821. Many turbulent years followed up until today, where protests are still frequent by workers and students.
Sports are part of everyday life, with football, boxing and baseball being the most popular ones. Amidst all that, gambling in Nicaragua has long been part of the local culture. In 1996, the national lottery was established, along with the first efforts of a regulatory framework. This came after years of ruling by the Sandinista, a period when all games of chance were illegal.
The most prominent -and still active- piece of legislation is the 2011 law, deeming all forms of gambling legal; and while there is no reference to the online section, it is treated as being legal too. Players face absolutely no restrictions and the authorities never seem to interfere; especially concerning Nicaragua online bookmakers, the offering is very rich. Any interested party cannot yet acquire a local license; therefore, locals visit international operators, where better odds and more betting options await them.
Betting in Nicaragua - 5 things to know
- The legal gambling age is 18
- There is no law prohibiting online betting in Nicaragua
- Land-based betting mainly takes place within casino premises
- Avoid any betting agents that might approach you on the streets
- There are no locally licensed operators, yet numerous online bookies accept Nicaraguans
Best betting sites in Nicaragua
There are quite a few options for local bettors; that’s why we list the best online bookmakers in Nicaragua, which have a wide coverage of all major football events and competitions, as well as special bets and markets. They also have a Spanish interface, for a more localized experience.
Gambling in Nicaragua: The law framework
Under the ruling of Sandinista, there was no Nicaragua gambling law; instead, all forms of gambling were simply illegal. In 1996, the national lottery was established. Shortly after, in 2001, came the first effort to legalize the sector. However, the first proper framework came in 2010 with “Special Law 766, for the Control and Regulation of Casinos and Gambling Venues''. Actually, it still serves as the basic piece of legislation concerning gambling in Nicaragua.
There is no chapter concerning the online sector though; yet, it is perceived to be legal for players to engage in such activity. Moreover, the existing licensing mechanism only targets land based casinos. The supervising body is the Oficina de Casinos y Salas de Juegos, operating under the Ministry of Finance. The 2014 amendments and the 2015 Casino Control Act just added some extra details to the existing law. Again, they didn't include any reference concerning the Nicaragua gambling online environment.
However, authorities never go after online gamblers; accessing Nicaragua bookmakers is clearly seen as being legal. There are no bookies with local licenses, with many locals playing at Costa Rican bookmaker Betcris. Meanwhile though, international bookies steadily offer more betting options. Local bettors have the freedom of choice, so, more and more seem to eventually prefer the latter.
The legal gambling age is 18, either for entering a casino or participating in the lotteries. Most international operators also adopt the same age limitation. Remember, Nicaragua online gambling is not illegal, therefore it's legal; this is the main idea here.
There are a few casinos inside which one may find betting facilities. In general, try to avoid any local bookmaking agents, since many of them are scam. Every bookmaker we list in our analysis is trustworthy and legitimate; their offering is also very rich.
There is generally nothing alarming when accessing Nicaragua bookies, apart from actually visiting a properly licensed one; and learning to avoid the -quite a few- dodgy South American operators, is a good starting point. The authorities hold an absolutely passive stance towards online betting. A friendly environment awaits players altogether, so just try and make the most of it.
Internet penetration is not very high, around 47%; yet more and more are familiarizing themselves with online gambling. The same goes for payments, with locals using credit cards and bank wires. Betting in Nicaragua can be made through top e-wallets, like Skrill and Neteller; they offer fast and secure transactions, while helping to convert your local money to US dollars or Euros.
Cryptocurrencies in Nicaragua are not yet legal. However, locals seem to hold a favorable stance towards this rising financial novelty. Many betting sites in Nicaragua are already using cryptos, so, local bettors are increasingly familiarizing themselves with them too.
The 2014 amendments and the 2015 casino act, were signs of an effort to shape up the gambling scene. Still, the Nicaraguan betting environment has much room for development; and for proper regulation too, mainly regarding the online sector.
The general feeling is indeed already user-friendly and the authorities are totally lax. However, alongside the overall cryptocurrencies’ rise in Central America, the Nicaragua online betting scene needs to be catered for. We just have to wait and see if the state realizes that through proper regulation it could benefit too; the taxation of any involved providers could bring serious money to the state budget.
The complete list of bookmakers in Nicaragua
Locals are practically free to access any bookmaker they wish. This is why we list all the available Nicaragua sports betting operators. These are all legitimate and acclaimed ones, so that you don’t have to worry about bumping into any dodgy scam sites. Stick to them and have a smooth betting journey.
All forms of gambling are legal in Nicaragua. Regarding the online sector, there is no specific section referring to it in the local laws; still, it’s perceived as being totally legal, so players may join any bookmaker they wish without worrying about penalties or fines.
Bet365 does accept Nicaraguan bettors. Along with 150+ extra bets on top leagues and extra features like partial cash out and live betting, it will match all your betting needs. Its mobile app is also one of the fastest and most convenient out there. The Spanish language is also available.
One of the most prominent bookmakers, 22bet is available to Nicaraguan players, providing 60.000+ pre-match events and countless extra bets. Covering extensively all major sports, it also allows you to bet in your local currency and in Spanish too.
There are no locally licensed Nicaragua bookmakers; while there are many South American operators, many of them not being trustworthy. Therefore, for players to enjoy a safe betting experience, they just have to stick to the ones we list above; which are all legitimate and licensed by some of the top authorities in the world.