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About the legality of online gambling in Costa Rica

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Having a fairly tolerant governance style, the government of Costa Rica is pretty cool about the presence of online gambling operators within its boundaries; despite the fact that online gambling is illegal for Costa Rica residents.

The residents are not legally allowed to gamble on any online casino games, including online poker, online roulette and others. In fact, Costa Ricans are prohibited to gamble on anything that has a random outcome. However, they still find ways and means to indulge in their favourite pastime on the Internet!

Ambiguity quite like Canada

Actually, the state of affairs in Costa Rica is quite like Canada, where you can play at various online casino portals, for example the kinds listed at onlinecasinos.ca, despite a lot of ambiguity surrounding the online casino operations. Elaborating a bit more on the online casinos featured in the link above, these gambling portals are shortlisted based on thorough research and after taking into account various important aspects like customer support, bonuses, selection of games, mobile compatibility, payment methods and more.

Furthermore, even though Costa Ricans are banned from online gambling, the physical location of the online casinos’ servers isn’t where the gambling actually takes place, thus allowing operators to offer online casino/gambling services from Costa Rica (as long as Costa Rica residents don’t gamble on these platforms). For instance, Calvin Ayre used to operate Bodog.com out of Costa Rica at one point of time (read more about it at bbc.co.uk).

How businesses can set up gambling operations in Costa Rica

Such lenience with regard to setting up of online gambling operations from Costa Rica makes it a popular destination for many online casino operators. They can establish their businesses by:

  • Investing into an already existing Costa Rica-based gaming company
  • Setting up an offshore corporation for offshore banking purposes
  • Opening up multiple offshore banking accounts
  • Applying for an online gambling license through a Costa Rica gaming company
  • Locating and integrating various payment processing channels, which can be easily sourced through many Costa Rica-based agencies
  • Ensuring that they have a physical office in Costa Rica
  • Obtaining an online gaming license (not mandatory)

Are all of them rogue?

Despite the fact that there are many gambling websites operating from Costa Rica, there are no hard and fast regulations with regard to their operations. This implies that online gambling/casino operators are given a plenty of freedom to do whatever they wish to do.

You only need to carry out some simple online search to locate websites that offer easy-to-download and free of cost gaming law guides for Costa Rica. Many of these portals offer specialised services and help businesses set up Costa Rica gambling operations.

Although Costa Ricans gambling industry hasn’t developed to a stage that it can significantly influence the world market, it has nevertheless been a significant hub for online sports betting, online poker and various other forms of online gambling.

All this might seem like pretty heavily skewed in favour of online gambling companies, but not all operators running their online gambling businesses from Costa Rica are rogue. You can find many well-respected Internet gambling companies based in Costa Rica, specifically because of lenient regulations and low tax rates. On a side note, you can learn more about Costa Rica as a country at lonelyplanet.com.

As is applicable to any gambling website, you must thoroughly research the portal that you wish to gamble on. This can be done by reading its reviews on various independent online/off-line forums, and checking with other players already playing on that portal.