The PGCB issues a land-based or online gambling license to any casino or 'game of chance' operator in the Republic of Panama and ensures they run legally and prioritise player protection. This Central American country is bordered by Costa Rica and Colombia, and is known to be a narrow land bridge connecting North and South America. Although the PGCB was originally founded in 1947, Panama saw both a gambling boom and an increase in fraudulent issues surface within its gambling industry in 1997. Due to this, the Gaming Commission within Panama's Ministry of Economics and Finance – the PGCB - was tasked with the challenge of controlling casinos, issuing licenses, and most importantly, keeping an eye on money laundering concerns in the Republic of Panama.
Today, they have implemented many systems to regulate, control and prevent fraudulent activities in online gambling, betting, and gaming companies in this region. Land-based gambling activities are strictly controlled, and in order to receive a brick-and-mortar license from the PGCB, applicants and operations need to adhere to strict rules and standards. However, there have been reports and instances in the past that indicate that licensing for online gambling companies is conducted in a more relaxed fashion. Online gambling companies in Panama are not strictly audited, and player protection and regulations are not severely enforced. Operators that have the money to pay the fees and do not conduct anything extremely conspicuous or illegal can obtain and maintain their Panamanian gaming license. Therefore, the reputability of a Panama licensed online casino and gambling business can vary greatly.