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Bolivia Casinos

With location in the heart of South America, Bolivia’s Atacama Desert, Amazon Basin rainforests, the Marco Etcheverry, fluctuated landscape crossing Andes Mountains, the Andes’ Altiplano level, snow-topped Mt. Illimani, and the continent’s biggest lake and glass-smooth Lake Titicaca – combined with its captivating gambling industry makes the nation a standout amongst the most enchanting nations in the entire world.

History of Casinos in Bolivia

The genesis of Bolivia’s history can be linked directly to the times when the Inca Empire conquered most of the Lake Titicaca and the Aymara people’s territory known today as the Plurinational State of Bolivia. In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors took control of the whole region. Amid this period of the Spanish colonial rule, the nation was controlled by the Royal Audiencia of Charcas and authoritatively called Upper Peru because it was a self-governing locale dependant on the Viceroyalty of Peru.

1809 marked the first year the country took a drastic measure to earn full independence from the Spanish. An independence war went on from 1809 to 1825; chaos, countless casualties, and enormous conflicts were to show for it. Thanks to local liberators Simón Bolívar and Antonio Jose de Sucre, eventually the country gained full independence from Spain on August 6, 1825. The country was then renamed Bolivia as an acknowledgment of Simón Bolívar’s efforts.

Since its full independence, the country was quite apathetic and lackadaisical towards any form of gambling activity or facility. In the 1930s, however, the initial government system moved to a socialist government and gambling was, in due course, banned. The ban was effective in 1938 and made Bolivia legally gambling-free. Despite the ban, nonetheless, illicit gambling activities occurred within the country. Especially, bingo halls were very popular amongst Bolivians and there were more than 200 of them across the length and breadth of the country.

The year 1996 changed everything. The government decided to start licensing and regulating bingo halls, and more than 200 bingo halls were granted licenses in the year. Other facilities offering gambling activities in the country at the time were illegal, unlicensed, and unregulated.

In 2002, casinos were as well granted licenses to legally run casino operations. As a result, a flock of local and foreign investors became interested in the country’s gambling industry. Nonetheless, the gambling industry witnessed an outrageous nationwide decline. This decline resulted from the country’s new tax system. According to the system, 30 percent of a casino’s gross profits are taxed and 70 percent of the tax is given to the Federal Government. Additionally, the casino players are taxed 15 percent as quick as they place a wager or purchase a chip.

Moving on, in accordance with the country’s promising gambling industry, the Authority of Taxation and Social Control Over Gaming Board was created in 2007 as the regulatory body governing all gambling concerns within the country. In addition to the country’s propitious gambling scene, another reason for the creation of the Authority of Taxation and Social Control Over Gaming Board scrapped the scandalous corruption of the National Lottery Commission of Charity and Health.

Lottery, meanwhile, is very popular in Bolivia. The lottery scene was made popular because it has been funding a handful of services of Bolivia’s health sector since 1871. Also, bingo held the greatest percentage of gambling participation in Bolivia until 2011 when Evo Morales – the President of Bolivia – issued all bingo halls within the country to close indefinitely. Concurrently, the Bolivian government is extremely strict about gambling throughout the country, so any casino or any other gambling facility that is not licensed and regulated by the Authority of Taxation and Social Control Over Gaming Board is completely illegal.

Current Gambling Climate

As discussed earlier, casinos are legal in Bolivia. Still, not every casino in the country runs legally. In fact, there is a number of illicit casinos within this part of South America. The Authority of Taxation and Social Control Over Gaming Board handles everything related to gambling activities and facilities within the country. This means, the Board licenses, regulates, monitors, audits and secures the gambling facilities and activities of Bolivia.

Further, there is a total number of six casinos currently operating in Bolivia. Bolivia, as a country, is lovely and – like other South American countries – a tourist-friendly destination with friendly citizens. The gambling environment, particularly, is just as appealing. However, due to Bolivia’s heavy tax system, it is recommended that visitors and tourists in the country place wagers in offshore casinos.

Casinos in Bolivia by Area

Unlike other South American countries, all six Bolivian casinos are located in a single area: the capital city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Santa Cruz de la Sierra is the most commercially successful city in the whole Bolivia. Lastly, the largest gambling facility in Bolivia is Casino Flamingo.

Types of Casinos in Bolivia

First, bingo I’d the most popular form of gambling throughout the length and breadth of the country. Unfortunately, all bingo halls were closed in 2011, which resulted from a presidential decree. Also, bingo was a monopolized industry in Bolivia because Bahiti’s Club owned all those bingo halls – exactly 16 – in Trinidad, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Sucre, Tarija, and La Paz.

Casinos are available – six in total – but not as popular as bingo halls. Most casinos offer gaming machines and table games which include traditional bingo, roulette, blackjack, video bingo, baccarat, Caribbean Stud poker, video poker, and some electronic games. Besides, most casinos are either standalone casinos or parts of large hotels.

Woefully, there are no racinos or racing tracks within the country. Moreover, there is a lottery in the country (listed with the casinos): Juegos De Loteria Lotex S.A. Online gambling, on the other hand, is not regulated in Bolivia. Still, Bolivian natives, residents and tourists can access offshore online gambling websites without being persecuted.

List of Casinos in Bolivia

Below is a list of all casinos currently operating in the regions of Bolivia.

Casino Flamingo
Cine Center Digital 4K
Curucusí – Games S.R.L.
Golden Horse
Juegos De Loteria Lotex S.A.
Max Entertainment S.R.L.

Facts About Casinos in Bolivia

– In Bolivia, the minimum gambling age is 18 years.

– Since bingo is popular in Bolivia, the majority of Bolivians now play bingo games on the Internet.

– Some casinos in Bolivia make money by selling harmful drugs.

– From 1938 until 1996, gambling was entirely restricted in Bolivia.

– In 2009, Russian casinos fled the country for Bolivia.

Poker and sports betting are two of the most ignored forms of gambling in Bolivia.

– All gambling facilities and activities within the country are monitored by the Authority of Taxation and Social Control Over Gaming Board.

– In 2017, the Authority of Taxation and Social Control Over Gaming Board asked the Federal Government to grant the power to regulate online casinos, bookmakers, and lottery operators.

– The Authority of Taxation and Social Control Over Gaming Board is officially the Autoridad de Fiscalización y Control Social del Juego (AJ) – created in 2007.

– In 2011, 16 Bahiti’s Club bingo halls were closed down and the executives were arrested and jailed because of tax violations.

– Bolivia has one of the highest gambling tax percentages in the entire world.

– The lottery industry has been around since 1871.

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