The Republic of Venezuela is the sixth-largest country in the South American continent. It is sharing borders with Guyana, Brazil, and Colombia. Venezuela is known as a sun-drenched destination. There are no less than 350 days of sunshine a year! The landscape varies from lowland to mountainous with the highest point being the Pico Bolivar in the Andes with a height of over 5,000 meters. The country also has the highest waterfall in the world, the Angel Falls with a height of 979 meters. On the coast, you will find beautiful sandy beaches with clear blue water where diving and snorkeling used to be popular tourist activities. However, due to the current political climate tourism has almost ceased to exist. This also affected the local gambling industry and its future is unclear at the moment.
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Currently, casino gambling is only legal at designated tourist zones in Venezuela for locals and tourists. Right now, there seem to be five officially licensed land-based casinos, but it’s hard to verify if they are still open for business or not. The political landscape in the country is consistently changing rapidly, so we recommend researching the current situation before making any plans. In any case, the minimum age for gambling in Venezuela is 18.
Online gambling is not regulated right now, so it is neither legal nor illegal to play at foreign-based gambling sites – instead, there is a legal grey area in the country. It appears like Venezuelans are free to play at international online casinos but, once again, this might be subject to change and we recommend doing your own research before getting started. We also recommend looking for online casinos that are regulated under trustworthy jurisdictions.
We recommend checking out our GoodLuckMate top lists and casino reviews in order to find out more about the best international online casinos that accept players from Venezuela.
Gambling used to be entirely legal in Venezuela until around 2010 when the socialist regime led by Hugo Chávez introduced a couple of major changes. On 17 June in that same year, Chavez outlawed gambling parlors and any casinos that were not located within designated tourist zones. Officially, the new gambling regulations were introduced to crack down on money laundering. The government halted issuing new licenses and only five casinos remained. The law dictates that casinos can only be situated in 5-star hotels with more than 200 rooms. This way the government wants to kill two birds with one stone. They hope to boost tourism and keep the local population away from the gambling facilities as the majority of the locals can not afford to visit this kind of luxury establishment.
Horse racing and betting still seem to be legal outside the designated tourist zones, too, but the situation is not entirely clear. Many local businesses are struggling so this might have affected the horse tracks in the same way as the financial situation of the country is dire.
Before the new laws came into effect the government even licensed two online gambling operators in the country. Rumors suggest that both of them ended up going bankrupt. After that, no new licenses have been issued. Other than that, online gambling is mostly unregulated, and Venezuelan residents are free to access foreign online casinos.
As mentioned above, there used to be two online casino sites based in Venezuela that were completely tailored to the local market. Since both sites have vanished the only option is to play at foreign-based online casinos. Many international gambling sites offer support in Spanish, which is spoken by the vast majority of Venezuelans. Hence, it won’t be hard at all to find a suitable place at which to play. However, it’s worth being aware that not all of these sites accept players from Venezuela. At the ones that do, you can take advantage of all global promotions and bonus offers, but it’s worth checking out the terms and conditions before signing up.
At his point, we are not aware of any online casinos accepting Venezuelan bolívar as a currency. If you want to play online, then, you will have to resort to other currencies such as the US dollar or the euro. You can still make deposits using your local payment methods like credit cards, but you will have to pay a small currency conversion fee. Keep in mind that some cards issued in Venezuela can only be used within the country and might not work online or abroad.
On the flip side, the land-based casinos in the tourist zones accept Venezuelan bolívar and all major international currencies. Currency exchange is also not a problem as these kinds of facilities are commonly found at all hotels that are hosting the casinos.
The political situation in Venezuela is not very transparent right now and, for that reason, it is hard to provide accurate information about the remaining gambling facilities in the country. Some of the places might have shut down in the meantime, but it seems like at least five casinos are still operating as usual. This includes the Casino Alhambra Palace, the Bingo Caribe Plaza, the Casino Marina Bay, the Casino Escubafan, and the Casino Clandestino. All of them are located around the coastal area at popular tourist hotspots such as Playa La Caracola, Barcelona, and Caracas. If you are looking to gamble online from Venezuela you are forced to play at foreign-based casino sites – these are typically regulated in Curaçao, Anjouan, St. Kitts, and Costa Rica, for example.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.