Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Wednesday, August 27 2014 @ 09:08 AM EDT

View Printable Version

Sex Workers In Panama Want A New Law To Protect Them From Governmental Abuse (International Whores' Day)

Nightlife, Bars, and PartyingSex workers in Panama are demanding the passage of a new law to prevent discrimination, and to protect them from abuse by government authorities. (more)

You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers who have logged in to their user accounts can see the full text of this article. However non-members can only see this short introduction. If you would like to subscribe, please click this link to subscribe via PayPal.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

WHO Ranks Panama As The Largest Consumer of Alcohol in Central America

Nightlife, Bars, and PartyingThe World Health Organization (WHO) ranks Panama as the country with the highest alcohol consumption in Central America, and puts the age of onset at 12 years, when five years ago the age of onset was between 15 and 16 years. (more)

You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers who have logged in to their user accounts can see the full text of this article. However non-members can only see this short introduction. If you would like to subscribe, please click this link to subscribe via PayPal.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

It's A Dry Weekend In Panama - No Booze (Sale or Consumption) During Elections

Nightlife, Bars, and PartyingThe Police Commissioner Aldo Macre, Director of the Traffic Operations Division of the National Police, announced on RPC Radio they will begin an operation on Friday, 2 May 2014, to enforce a "dry" rule for the upcoming national elections.

Macre explained the rule states that 48 hours before the start of this electoral activity, the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.

In the event they find an intoxicated citizen, first they will lose their right to vote, and then they will be take to the National Police, where the Office of the Electoral Prosecutor and the police will enforce the law, and initiating the process leading to a sanction.

The General Elections will take place this Sunday, May 4, during which Panamanian voters will elect Mayors, local municipal Representatives, the Deputies of the National Assembly, and the President of the Republic who will lead the country. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: So be aware - no drinking or sales of booze, starting on Friday. It would be highly advisable to hold your private parties indoors. Don't hold a big beach party. Don't hold a loud or raucous gathering. If you want to drink at all this weekend, buy your booze now, and do so in private, behind closed doors. Don't give the cops a reason to make an example of anyone. Because, they will. Because that's what cops do sometimes. The "spirit and intent" of this law is to make sure everyone is sober when voting - so it's not really aimed at tourists or foreigners who don't get to vote anyway. But still, just be smart...

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Tomato Law Will Be Applied For Mother's Day, Christmas And New Year's Day

Nightlife, Bars, and PartyingThis weekend the “Tomato Law” will be applied in the district of Panama, allowing bars, night clubs and other centers who sell alcoholic drinks to operate during full schedule.

The City Government of Panama issued a decree annulling “Carrot Law,” which regulates operation schedules of these establishments, for the days December 8th and 25th, and Wednesday January 1, 2014. (Telemetro)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Five Days For The New "Tomato Law"

Nightlife, Bars, and PartyingThe City Government of Panama, through the Municipal Decree 2335 from 28 October 2013 authorized the operation of bars, discotheques and other centers that sell alcoholic beverages in their full schedule.

This regulation will apply on November 3, 4, 9, 10 and 28.

Through a statement, the Mayor of Panama, Roxana Méndez, informed the regulations established in the Executive Decree 1424 from 2011 and regulated through the Municipal Decrees 1896 and 1899 from 2011, known as “carrot law,” will be suspended during these days. (Siglo)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

"Big Mike" From Superbook VIP Sports Bar (Panama) Arrested In Florida Yesterday

Nightlife, Bars, and Partying By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Well, it's a damn shame. One of the guys who I knew from the Superbook VIP Sports Club in Panama City - Michael Casey "Big Mike" Lawhorn - was arrested on yesterday, Wednesday, 10 April 2013 and booked at 18:03 shortly after the indictment against 34 individuals in the Legends Sports Book investigation was released.

"Big Mike" hired me to help promote events at the Superbook VIP Sports Bar when he and Bill Bates took it over. They ran it for a couple of years and then sold their share of the bar and restaurant. "Big Mike" moved back to Florida, and Bill was working at the DSS call center on Albrook. For the record, the gambling activity at the Sportsbook Bar is perfectly legal because they have a license issued by the government of Panama, and anyone can walk in there and place a bet on a game if they want to. Mike and Bill were trying to get people through the door to fill the place up, and they would pay to run promotions for things like big games, UFC events, the Final Four, Superbowl, and stuff like that.

After the indictment was released yesterday afternoon I went over to the Superbook and spoke to the guys there. They had heard about it, and they were wondering what was going to happen to them. It turns out that the main guy in this Legends investigation - Bartice Alan "Luke" King - also owns the Superbook sports book license in Panama. So far I have not heard a word about any of this in the Panamanian press.

I consider "Big Mike" to be a friend, and I know he's a nice guy. I also knew he was big into the sports gambling scene in Panama, but had no idea about the extent of the illegal activities of the Legends Sports Book in the United States. When we discussed his plans to advertise the Superbook VIP Sports Bar on my website, I made sure to promote only "walk through the door" events - and stayed away from any online gambling reference. Anyway, it's a damn shame to see a friend of mine under arrest and facing a long time in prison on these charges.

Copyright 2013 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

34 People - Mostly US Citizens - Charged in Probe of Illegal Sports Betting (Based in Panama)

Nightlife, Bars, and PartyingOKLAHOMA CITY—A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday accuses 34 people and 23 companies, many of them registered in Central America, of operating an illegal sports bookmaking business that solicited more than $1 billion in bets.

The 95-page indictment, handed up by a federal grand jury in Oklahoma City on March 20, accuses the defendants of operating from San Jose, Costa Rica, and Panama City to take bets almost exclusively from gamblers in the U.S.

The indictment says that since 2003 the operation known as Legendz Sports used the companies to operate as payment processors, launder gambling funds and make payouts to customers. It alleges a conspiracy and accuses the defendants of violating federal racketeering and money laundering statutes as well as operating an illegal gambling business.

The indictment also accuses the defendants of violating illegal gambling statutes in several states, including Oklahoma, California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New York and Texas.

"Legendz Sports solicited millions of illegal bets totaling over $1 billion on sports and sporting events from gamblers in the United States," the indictment alleges. As part of the conspiracy, Legendz Sports operated Internet websites and telephone gambling services from facilities located in Panama, the indictment says.

U.S. Attorney Sanford Coats of Oklahoma City said the charges culminated a multiyear investigation by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service.

"The defendants cannot hide the allegedly illegal sports gambling operation behind corporate veils or state and international boundaries," Coats said.

The acting chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, Mythili Raman, said the government is determined to crack down on illegal online gambling by U.S. citizens, regardless of where the business operates or where the defendants live.

"These defendants allegedly participated in an illegal sports gambling business, lining their pockets with profits from over a billion dollars in illegal gambling proceeds," Raman said.

Among the individual defendants listed in the indictment is Bartice Alan King, 42, of Spring, Texas, who's accused of conspiring with others to operate gambling services that took wagers almost exclusively from U.S. gamblers.

The enterprise allegedly used bookies in the U.S. to illegally solicit and accept sports wagers as well as settle gambling debts. The 34 individual defendants were allegedly employees, members and associates of the Legendz Sports enterprise, the indictment says.

Bob Troester, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oklahoma City, said King remained at large Wednesday but that 22 other defendants including King's former wife, Serena Monique King, had been taken into custody.

If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison for racketeering, up to 20 years for conspiring to commit money laundering, up to 10 years for money laundering and up to five years for operating an illegal gambling business.

In addition, the indictment seeks forfeiture of at least $1 billion in numerous assets including real estate, bank accounts, brokerage and investment accounts, certificates of deposit, IRAs, domain names, an aircraft, a gas lease and several vehicles.

Troester said the investigation is not related to illegal gambling charges against Teddy Mitchell, 58, who is awaiting trial on a federal indictment that accuses him of making millions of dollars by hosting illegal high-stakes poker games at his Oklahoma City home and by illegally taking bets on sporting events.

"This is a completely separate case," Troester said.

Editor's Comment: This investigation, which involved more than a billion dollars in illegal online sports betting, will be a huge headline in Panama once the local news media outlets realize what's going on. What follows below is a full list of the defendants, the original release by the Justice Department, and a link to the indictment itself. (more)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama City Creates New "Nocturnal Inspection" Office To Crack Down On Noise

Nightlife, Bars, and PartyingIn less than 30 days the owners of bars, wineries, clubs, grills, cantinas and buildings under construction will be inspected by a new office being created by the Mayor of Panama - the Nocturnal Inspector.

According to Javier Ortega, President Muncipal Council, the idea of performing these inspections came after the constant complaints being registered by residents in Calle Uruguay and other sectors about trash and clutter, and the excess noise coming from these nightclubs.

Ortega also spoke about the delay in opening this office, because it was supposed to have been opened during the month of January 2013, but at least that problem has been resolved.

A representative of City Hall through a press release said the function of this office will be to oversee all of the commercial establishments who sell liquor in open or closed containers.

The statement also said the office would fine those establishments that present irregularities with noise, health issues, or other problems.

The office will also focus on construction sites and buildings that are under construction to make sure they are complying with all laws, the spokesman said.

The inspectors will work on a schedule from 6:00 pm until 3:00 am on weekdays, and from 8:00 pm until 4:00 am on weekends.

Fernando Wilson, owner of Wilson Karaoke said the night entertainment sector has been affected not only by the "Carrot Law" but also by regulations passed to limit noise.

Wilson said the owners of these places cannot take any more, which is why this new office should report more about these aspects than what they are going to inspect. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: A full time office of "Nocturnal Inspection"? Why not? Before any time they wanted to conduct an inspection they would have to pull people who were working a normal Monday through Friday day shift, and press them into service for a "special" inspection during night and weekend hours. Good idea. Think these guys will be collecting much in bribes to look the other way? There were probably fistfights over the positions in this office...

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

MICI Inspecting Bars in Panama City To Ensure Compliance With The Law

Nightlife, Bars, and PartyingThe Ministry of Trade and Industry conducted inspections of 125 businesses that sell alcoholic beverages in the capital city, to ensure they are complying with requirements.

Law 2 of 5 February 2013 establishes fines for violating the law can reach as high as $50,000.

The Director of Commerce and Industry, Virgilio Sousa said on RPC Radio that some businesses insist on failing to comply with the law, and they open supposedly as a BBQ but they end up as bars and cantinas.

"We are calling on those businesses that have generated their notices of operation in an irregular or fraudulent manner, so they can manage their business premises as is stated in the law," said Sousa.

Sousa said they have seen a proliferation in these kinds of businesses such as bars and taverns, that have been done irregularly and in an illegal manner, that are creating constant squabbles and scandals that undermine morals.

Sousa said the Comptroller General of the Republic approved a final rule that will set new levels for performance bonds.

"This is not something new, it dates back to 2007 with what was created by law. What happened is that the Comptroller never issued the regulations to put the new law into effect, and now coinciding with the passage of the new Law 2 of 5 February 2013, which allows the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to apply this bond to those businesses who do not comply with the measures as established by law, and later they can restart their business."

Sousa also called on the Ministry of Health to accompany them on these operations. (Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

No Drinking or Partying in Panama During The "Day Of The Dead" Observances

Nightlife, Bars, and PartyingDance activities and the sale of alcoholic beverages will be suspended starting tomorrow, Friday, November 2, in the district of Panama because of the commemoration of the Day of the Dead. The measure was ordered by Decree 3214 of October 22, 2012 and applies to the bars, supermarkets, and discos in the 21 districts that form part of the capital district. According to a statement from the Mayor of Panama, the rule comes into force at 12:01 am on 2 November 2012, and will remain in force until 12:01 am, on Saturday, November 3. The order also prohibits the use of loud music boxes, jukeboxes, and dances entertained by orchestras, ensembles and other music media. The penalties for those who fail to comply with this decree range from one hundred to one thousand dollars. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: Routine, normal, happens every year. So buy your booze ahead of time and get drunk quietly at home, because the bars will be closed.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks