Internet Gambling

Belize is one of the few countries to have enacted legislation on the establishment of online wagering. Computer Wagering Licensing Act 1995 allows the establishment of online wagering and provides for the proper conduct and regulation of gambling through the Internet.

The Act not only legalises wagering by Computer Internet, but also provides for the licensing of computer services operators providing Computer Internet users with the facility to wager against one another on sporting events and games of chance.

With the prior approval of the Minister of Home Affairs, The Belize Computer Wagering Licensing Board can grant exclusive licences to provide computer wagering services. The Board is also responsible for controlling and regulating all those who provide computer wagering services.

In 2004, Prime Minister Said Musa, responsible also for gaming control, signed a Statutory Instrument that adjusted the Online Gaming regime to process and monitor more efficiently reducing the normal fees associated with licences in Belize to USD 15 000 from USD 50 000.

International Business Companies require licence for conducting gaming from within Belize with the exception that no business is conducted with residents of Belize.

In accordance with the new rules, only persons with integrity, competence and adequate financial means are considered for a licence, and only one licence can be held at one time.

As to the maintenance of a separate bank account for processing wager transactions, regulatory requirements provide that licensees may charge a processing fee not exceeding 5% of each transaction, or the sum of USD 20, whichever is greater.

Holders of computer wagering licenses have to pay a 15% withholding tax on payments of winnings or prizes.