Is Online Gambling Legal in El Salvador?

The legality of online gambling in El Salvador is a topic of much debate. While some authorities consider it illegal, others believe it should be allowed under certain circumstances. There is no clear answer as to the legality of online gambling in El Salvador. Such a situation will depend on the jurisdiction in which the gambling is occurring. In this article, we will cover the situation around the casino market and what licensing and protections are there.

Overview of the Gambling Industry

The gambling industry in El Salvador is growing rapidly, with new casinos and gambling facilities popping up all over the country. This growth is attracting local and international visitors, and the industry is becoming an important contributor to the Salvadoran economy.

An excellent example of such a casino is CasinoHEX. They offer free spins on select games. You can find the full list of free spins offers at CasinoHEX. Different casinos offer free spins as part of their welcome packages because it’s a great way to get new players hooked on what might become their favorite game.

If talking about the history of casino laws, the Legislative Assembly decided to close all casinos in the country in 1999 and announced that they should be shut down. Although it continued to be an option of additional taxes for local officers, so they kept providing gaming venues.

In 2002, the Legislative Assembly reaffirmed the validity of the 1882 “Police Law” with an official reading. The enactment of this Law makes any kind of allowance by the local officers to open and run gambling houses illegal.

No new casinos or other gambling establishments can be built in the country. Local officers were instructed to shut down all their jurisdictions’ gaming venues immediately. This included all casinos, bingo halls, and online gaming sites.

However, it was obvious that the gambling industry was not about to die and was still growing. Due to this, in 2011, “The Law of Violations and Citizen Coexistence” was developed. It meant that casinos were not prohibited already, although the gambling house owner should get specific “permission.”

Gambling Licensing in El Salvador

Gambling licensing in El Salvador is a process that must be followed to operate a gambling business in the country legally. The process is overseen by the Ministry of Finance and includes the submission of an application, the payment of a fee, and the approval of the Ministry. Here are some other requirements, along with a taxation explanation and the application process.

Company structure:

  • 1+ director;
  • 2+ Shareholders.

Accounting requirements:

  • External audition is required;
  • Provide annual financial reports to the Chamber of Commerce;
  • A tax audition is required, depending on the business size.

Taxation information overview:

  • Corporate Income Tax of 30%;
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) – 13%;
  • Advanced payment of Corporate Income Tax, “Pago a Cuenta” – 1,75%;
  • None-resident tax:
    • Non-resident with tax benefits: dividends – 5%, interest – 20%, royalties – 20%;
    • Non-resident with no tax benefits: dividends – 25%, interest – 25%, royalties – 25%;

To obtain permission to gamble online in El Salvador, you must apply for a gambling license from the Salvadoran government. Here are the instructions on how to do it:

  • Apply to the local services to reserve the company name;
  • Register the application through the office of the Ministry of Finance. It is needed to get the registration number of the payer of Value Add Tax (VAT) and Income Tax (NIT);
  • Apply to register at the city hall;
  • Register with the Population Census and Main Department of Statistics;
  • Register the application with the Chamber of Commerce;
  • Create a bank account for your business.

Is It Legal to Gamble Online in El Salvador?

As it was written before, the players from El Salvador are not prohibited from using gambling house services. It is related to both offline and online options.

However, it is known that not all players from the Caribbean region have equal access opportunities. It fully depends on their home countries’ laws for gambling. If you are not sure whether your country is on the white list, read the Terms & Conditions of the particular website to see if everything is fine for you. It is also advisable to review the casino’s payment methods and banking policies, paying close attention to fees and minimum deposit/withdrawal amounts.

Player Protection in El Salvador

The country made commendable strides in combating money laundering in 2019, according to the report “Know Your Country.”

Since there are no additional measures in place, it is incumbent on each player to act with restraint and remain within the safe confines of digital entertainment.

Reputable gambling platforms typically offer deposit and/or loss limits, cool-off buttons, and reality check features. We, therefore, urge gamblers to visit establishments that prioritize player protection.

Sum Up

Online gambling is legal in El Salvador as long as it is within the confines of state law. No laws in El Salvador prohibit online gambling, and no authorities are tasked with enforcing state law on this issue. This means that anyone in El Salvador who wishes to engage in online gambling is free to do so.

Because online gambling is legal in El Salvador, there is a large number of casino and gambling websites that are available to El Salvadorans. This includes both licensed and unlicensed websites. In addition, some mobile phone apps are available to El Salvadorans that allow them to engage in online gambling. Overall, online gambling in El Salvador is safe and legal.