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Ecuador – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
All forms of gambling were made illegal almost a decade ago in the South American nation of Ecuador. The change in law was based on a referendum with close results, leading to around 50 casino closures and the loss of an estimated 20,000 jobs. The ban mainly addressed land-based casinos and other gambling organizations, however, the online sector was left in a relative gray-zone. A big trend of the industry in recent years has been to expand operations towards the Latin American world. This means that while there are no regulations for operating in Ecuador, many sites still work towards providing their services to residents, as there are technically no laws to stop it.
Residing in a country that does not have any fixed online gambling legislation means that you will need to be extra cautious when choosing an establishment to play at. It is always best to ask yourself several questions before registering, as gray-zones tend to have an increased risk in attracting black-market operations. Illegitimate sites can be very sophisticated and will therefore be hard to spot with the untrained eye. Taking the extra time to do some research can often save you in the long run. Try starting with asking yourself the following questions next time you see a casino you like the look of.
- Does the site allow registrations from Ecuador?
- Who is the casino’s licensing authority?
- Are US dollars supported?
- Does the site feature Spanish language options?
- Is your preferred payment method available?
- What do reviews say about the casino?
Now it is understandable that going through a verification routine for every casino you find can be very taxing. It is not unusual to find information that is out of date or simply false. It is also very easy to get swamped in all of the facts and figures out there. Instead, we recommend you stick with us here at GoodLuckMate. We do all of the fact-checking, sorting and summarizing, meaning that all of the hard work is already done for you. Why not check out some of our casino reviews to see for yourself.
For all intents and purposes, Ecuador has no gambling regulation or authority. After the blanket wide ban on all forms of gambling within the nation itself, not much has changed. This ban did not take online sites into account though, most of which are based in Europe or Curaçao. This means that these sites are not doing anything illegal by operating from those areas and most are it is actually the government’s responsibility to block access to them. This essentially allows casinos to operate in numerous countries around the world, therefore being generally accessible to countries that do not outright specify any stance towards online gambling. That means that players from Ecuador will still be able to access a wide variety of online establishments, some of which may contain special campaigns and offers that are available for Ecuadorian residents.
Finding an online casino that supports US dollars is a relatively easy task. Sites that offer their services in Spanish are less common, unfortunately. As Spain is not considered a main European market, most casinos did not pay much attention to the Spanish language in the past. This is however changing with the Latin American wave that the industry is currently riding on. Many organizations are trying to crack the market in South America, which means better and more widely available Spanish language options. Additionally, casinos are also taking a bigger interest in Southern American cultural and sporting events.
Your best bet would therefore be to find a licensed casino that already has a foothold in South America, as this will increase the chances of finding a site that is already well localized with the possibility of further enhancements down the line. It also increases the chances of having more tailor-made promotions come your way.
Residing in a country that uses a highly popular currency such as US dollars is definitely a great benefit when wanting to gamble online. The vast majority of online casinos tend to offer US dollars and euros by default. Therefore, having either of these currencies as your preferred type opens up a lot of possibilities when it comes to your options in casinos and payment methods, along with the benefit of avoiding annoying currency conversion fees.
Another possibility would be looking into online casinos that support cryptocurrency payment methods. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins provide an alternative to traditional currencies and is becoming an increasingly popular method for players online. This is especially useful, should a casino not support US dollars, as you will be able to purchase an amount with your dollars and then use the cryptocurrency to fund your player balance.
It is sad to say that the Ecuadorian gambling scene is a shadow of its former self, since the 2011 ban. The complete closure of all land-based operations was definitely a heavy blow. While the vote was cast based on player protection and social responsibilities, this came at a huge cost of jobs, revenue streams and tax benefits. This didn’t stop people wanting to play though, which is why the online scene has become a go-to place for any sort of gambling activities for Ecuadorian players. With plenty of options and a marked trend towards opening up the Southern American market, Ecuadorians are in a solid position to take advantage of all the benefits that healthy and regulated competition brings.