Bettors from Panama and abroad bet USD 658 in 2006. It represents a 28% increment on games of chance bets in the country, thanks to the economic growth and the increment of players.
Besides, the Panamenian Association of People with Gambling Problems said that, as well as revenues and prizes grow, it also increases the number of people with gambling problems.
A long report on Panama-America newspaper, concentrated in the financial aspects of the so-called industry of entertainment, indicated that the activity registrated a 28% growth last year. Data from the Association of Games of Chance Operators (ASAJA) indicated that bets increased from USD 513 million in 2005 to USD 658 million in 2006.
Dianitza Franchi, from the Panamenian Association of People with Gambling Problems, said that there was an increment in the number of people with gambling problems.
Antonio Alfaro, ASAJA President, said that the increment of gambling venues everywhere is „the result of the economic growth of the country and specially the touristic sector”.
From last June, this sector made tax payments to the state for USD 2 million and expects USD 24 million for the end of the year, too, according to the newspaper.