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Betting in Ecuador

Published on: 30/11/2015

Ecuador is located in South America and is next to shares its borders with Peru and Columbia. Its gambling industry is considered to be the fastest growing in all of the continent and at the forefront of progression. In 2010, some 160 betting venues throughout the country provided approximately 25,000 full time jobs.

Ecuador’s liberal gambling regulations have permitted most types of betting for many years. State-run betting pools are one of the few types of gambling that have never been available, mainly due to the lack of interest in horse racing.

From the late 1940s, gambling venues have been successfully opened in 24 states of Ecuador. Guayaquil is the nation’s biggest city and facilitates six multi-complex casinos. The capital of Quito also has six high-end gambling establishments incorporated within luxury hotels such as the Casino Colon at the Hilton, the Best Western Hotel and the Plaza Hotel and Casino. As per usual punters must be a minimum age of 18 years old. Holiday makers are advised to be cautious of wagering in any of the numerous unlawful gaming establishments. However there are many legitimate gambling venues including some popular sportsbooks. In Ecuador, sport is revered, with football in particular a favourite betting market. Ecuadorean citizens particularly enjoy playing card games such as Texas Hold’em, Oasis and Caribbean Stud Poker. Due to the growing popularity of these card games, The Latin American Poker Tour was held in the country Ecuador in 2008. Carlos “El Matador” Mortensen, a player from Ambato, won the World Series of Poker as well as the World Poker Tour - the first player to achieve this.

In 2010, the Ecuadorean president proclaimed that the government wanted to prohibit casinos due to the unlawful activities associated with gambling. A referendum was suggested to give the citizens the chance to have their say regarding the outcome of betting in their country. Ahead of the 2011 referendum, and despite protests from the National Association of Casino Arcade Owners and Managers (Anpasju), the authorities began shutting down gaming venues and online services throughout the country. The referendum fell in favour of the president and all gambling companies were given six months to close.

Over 3,000 jobs were directly lost but in reality more than 100,000 people were thought to be affected by the measures. Bookies and gambling web sites still operate in Ecuador without licences. The country has not enforced any legislation prohibiting local citizens from wagering via foreign online services. There are hundreds of gambling web sites from abroad, many of which include information in Spanish, who welcome Ecuadorian punters.

In Ecuador, online gambling remains very popular with poker rooms, casinos and bingo halls being particularly popular. Punters in Ecuador can wager using a range payment methods including: