The Central American country Belize, with English as the official language, features picturesque diving spots and stunning landscapes. It also features a regulated gambling industry, with the country relying on income generated by licensing operators. While Belizeans cannot gamble at sites the country’s regulator licenses, locals can still have a punt online. We explain why below.
Best online betting sites in BelizeAll Bookmakers
Betting in Belize
Belize legalised sports betting in 1995-6, with locals and tourists eligible to place a bet on sporting events via licensed betting shops. Punters can also head to the local race tracks, with horse racing wagering authorised too.
The country is well ahead of the times, first regulating online gambling in 1995 under the Computer Wagering Licensing Act, offering overseas gambling companies operating licenses. The Belize government has made amendments to the online gambling legislation since then, with the Regulations of the Gaming Control Act 2000 enforced in 2004. The Ministry of National Development, Investment and Culture issue licenses to offshore operators, with standard and exclusive options available. The updated legislation decreased costs for licenses, making it desirable to some operators.
Belize is one of the few countries which licenses and regulates online gambling companies, yet doesn’t allow residents to gamble at the sites. Online gambling for locals is unregulated, with no rules banning residents from wagering at offshore sites – legislation merely bans punters from wagering at Belize licensed bookmakers.
- Bookmakers located or licensed overseas from the player’s location are considered offshore betting sites. Sometimes offshore operators can be used to describe rogue operators, which establish for a short period to steal gambler’s money, shutting accounts down once a punter bets and wins. But if you do your research, you will find that betting sites located overseas are reputable too, provided they’re licensed by advanced gaming jurisdictions like the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission. Real bettors approve of the betting sites listed in the table above and are a safe place to wager at.
When choosing an offshore betting site, take a look at things like the available sporting markets, deposit options, and whether you can play in your local currency (if not, look for ideal alternatives).
Popular sports in Belize
There are a few sports that have earned a spot in the Belizean local’s hearts. Click on the tabs below to find out more about each sport in the country, and whether you can place a bet on a match.
- Football, which is also called soccer in Australia and the US, is very popular in Belize as it is all over Central America. You can find betting markets for international and local football tournaments via the available sportsbooks in the table above.
- Basketball is considered to be the second most popular sport in the country, with locals playing at an early age. Although Belize hasn’t been included in the Olympics for basketball yet, the country’s independent body, the Belize Basketball Federation, is a member of the International Basketball Federation. Punters can find several basketball betting markets at the online bookies listed in the table.
- This may come as a surprise, but softball is quite popular in Belize. There are local and national tournaments, with women’s teams performing well in the Caribbean and Central American matches. It may be a bit harder to find softball betting markets, though your best bet is William Hill when international tournaments take place.
- Belizeans have been competing in the Olympics since 1968 and will participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. All online sportsbooks will feature betting markets during the events, so locals can place a wager and watch the live action unfold on television.
Can Belizeans fund sportsbooks with local currency
Unfortunately, offshore betting sites don’t cater to the Belize dollar, given the relatively small gambling market. You may be able to play with Brazilian Real, but USD is usually a punters best bet. You can fund your bookmaker account directly, with the currency converting as you do (note that there will be currency conversion fees), or you can open a web wallet.
Web wallets, such as Neteller and Skrill, allow users to open an online account, fund it with a bank transfer (fee free) or another payment method, and then use the e-Wallet details to deposit at sportsbooks. There will still be fees involved, so be sure to do your research before creating a digital wallet account.
Bitcoin is also available, which may be ideal to Belizeans if you don’t want the worry of currency conversion fees. If you have bitcoins, use your bitcoin wallet to fund your sportsbook via the prompts at the cashier, or acquire the cryptocurrency via an exchange and then follow the depositing process. Bitcoin transactions can incur high fees, so it might be an idea to look into Litecoin or Ethereum cryptocurrencies, which are available at BetOnline.