The gaming board of Panama is currently studying five applications for casinos to be located in hotels currently under construction.
According to Panamanian news source La Prensa, the properties for which casino permits are being sought from the board, known as the JCJ, include the Hilton Panama, Ritz Plaza and Trump Ocean Club. All are in Panama Province, which includes national capital Panama City.
Another 10 applications for slot hall licenses in various parts of the country also are being considered by the board.
Currently there are around a dozen full casinos and 25 slot halls operating in Panama. These operate 10,500 slots, while officially another 3,500 street- market machines can be found in bars and cafés.
The newest casino to open, the Princess Casino in the Four Points Hotel, was originally the subject of protest by trade group ASAJA, an association of gaming operators. In 2008, ASAJA filed a lawsuit on the grounds the hotel was neither a five-star operation nor had the requisite 300 hotel rooms. However, as the hotel was already under construction in 1997, just a year before the law took effect in February 1998, the casino was allowed.