Betting Landscape in El Salvador: An Overview of Opportunities and Regulations

Betting Landscape in El Salvador

The betting market is of high popularity in El Salvador, a country in Central America. However, there are certain rules and regulations that set local betting norms apart from other regions. See what the betting landscape is.

Both online and offline betting are legal businesses in El Salvador. According to statistics, this market is going to rise by 5.6% until 2028. The country has strict regulations for non UK regulated betting sites and local online bookmakers. As for accessibility, players can use both local and foreign betting platforms. However, understanding the regulations and opportunities of this sphere is key to gambling responsibly and with no problems.

El Salvador’s Regulatory Framework

There are two authorities that control the betting landscape in the country: The Ministry of Finance and the General Tax Authority of El Salvador. Both of them regulate the financial sphere of bookmakers. However, there are also non-profit organizations that set rules and regulations for bettors.

Licensing and Compliance

Non-UK betting sites should obtain official licenses and permissions for business in El Salvador. In fact, rules for local and foreign businesses don’t differ a lot. According to the laws of the country, new betting operators must follow these conditions:

  • The applicant must obtain an entity on the territory of El Salvador and receive a unique Tax ID.
  • Permission from the General Directorate of Games and Drawings is necessary.
  • The company must provide clear information on what sports bets are available, and what betting options they cover.
  • Proof of financial stability must be provided. If the company already existed, the bookmaker must prove its stability. If it is a new company, the founder proves personal financial stability. 

However, the topic seems problematic for many operators because of unclear rules. El Salvador hasn’t already developed a clear process of licensing. It is good news from one perspective – obtaining this license may be easier than in the UK. At the same time, no strict guide confuses foreign companies. 

Opportunities for Betting Operators 

If a bookmaker thinks of new markets for the business, El Salvador is a cost-effective idea. The market is not overwhelmed, so even mid-size platforms can succeed. At the same time, there is a growth tendency. There is a huge number of online and offline bettors in the country who search for no limit betting with beneficial bookmakers. While the local businesses cannot satisfy the demand, foreign bookmakers with experience are in demand. The gambling sphere in the country grew rapidly with the special popularity of poker rooms and sports betting. The overall number of sports bettors in the country is expected to grow to 40 thousand in 2028. 

As for business in general, the country has an open policy to foreign businesses. With an unstable economic situation, the government welcomes foreign investors and taxpayers. What you should also know is that the starting capital to register a business in El Salvador is only $2,000. Even young companies can afford it.

Popular Betting Markets in El Salvador 

As for the gambling and betting sectors, El Salvador citizens have clear priorities. As for online gambling, poker rooms and other table games are in special demand. Unlike other regions, they are even more popular than slot machines. The sports betting market also has tendencies, with soccer and basketball being the most popular sports.

Impact of Technology on the Betting Landscape

While local companies usually offer land-based betting offices, foreign businesses brought technologies here. The local population already tried non-UK online platforms. Now such websites are of special popularity. In 2024, there are 20+ betting websites and apps registered in the country. Add to this, unlicensed and foreign platforms. 

What is especially popular are betting applications, available to use with smartphones. The opportunity to bet online seems to be a new trend in a region, and there is no one particular leader yet.

Challenges and Risks

When deciding to open a business in El Salvador, founders must be ready for complications:

  1. High competition. A lot of businesses turned to El Salvador thanks to its soft conditions. With the opportunity to start a business with only $2,000, the market expects dozens of new bookmakers.
  2. Unclear laws. There is no direct way to register a company and some details may be unclear.
  3. Responsible gambling features. Gamblers’ support is now in the process of development. Thus, no founder can predict what the rules will be. 

If you are ready to meet the competition and track all changes, El Salvador is a perfect place to expand the company. 

Responsible Gambling Initiatives

The local authorities work on more responsible gaming laws and regulations. Now, there are few organizations protecting gamblers. Now the government pushes responsible gaming features toward, aiming to establish new regulations for casinos and bookmakers. 

The Ministry of Finance announced a new law in 2021 in El Salvador. According to it, all lotteries in the country receive a right to lead sports betting events. Also, the law now controls their work, preventing money laundering and unfair regulations.

Another authority is the General Tax Authority of El Salvador – it regulates the financial system at betting sites. Finally, the General Directorate of Games and Draws has a responsible gambling Program for local players. Unfortunately, none of them offer self-exclusion options or other significant measures. Now, organizations only inform gamblers and support them on the way to healing. The country is actively working on more measures to protect gamers and establish a healthy betting environment.


The betting landscape in El Salvador is influenced by the history of the region. From local games to international sports betting events, locals take an active part in betting. Since responsible gaming became a significant problem in El Salvador, local authorities like the Ministry of Finance introduced some regulations. Now, the active self-exclusion programs are absent and gamblers have no authorities to protect them from gambling addiction.