In this section, you can find information about Costa Rica online gambling legislation, requirements for a casino license, information about gambling taxes, dispute resolution process and where to address the player complaints.
Information about Costa Rica and its gambling legislation
Costa Rica is a country in the North America. It is bordered by Nicaragua and Panama, with access to the Caribbean Sea. The population of the country is around 4.500.000 people. Its economy is mostly based on agriculture and pharmaceuticals. Due to the political problems in the country, there are no strict regulations or legislature when it comes to companies.
There is no specific agency for dealing with electronic gambling licenses. Costa Rica Commerce Industry and Economy Ministry grands all of the required permits and licenses for businesses. Online gambling sites and casinos are considered as ordinary companies too. You can reach the ministry’s web site by visiting http://www.meic.go.cr address, but as we mentioned, there are no specific rules, regulations nor legislature for gambling companies. The only thing needed is not to serve the Costa Rica residents. According to the law, it is illegal for residents to gamble online. But companies still can offer gambling services from within the country, as long as its residents do not have access to the web site.
There are almost 400 online gambling companies located here because of the lack of regulations and legislature for licensing. Therefore, they also have no responsibilities for the players.
Licensing requirements and fees
As we mentioned above, nothing is needed to establish an online gambling company in Costa Rica. As long as you have the fee for a business license (5.000 USD), you can set up shop. This license needs to be renewed every year with the same cost. There is also a one-time fee of 500 USD for the legal costs. If the business income is from a foreign source, companies also do not need to pay any taxes. In other words, with only 5.500 USD, you can have your own online casino, tax-free.
Usually, the gambling companies rejected by all other jurisdictions end up in here. There is no “Costa Rican Gaming Commission” and no gambling licenses. Some of the online casinos claim that they have this license, it is simply not true.
Costa Rica gambling taxes and limitations
All of your gambling winnings are tax-free. However, since it is impossible to deposit them in the Costa Rican banks, you must transfer your winnings into your local bank account. This may require paying taxes according to your local laws.
There is no player limitation nor protection. You are on your own.
Complaints and Dispute Resolution
Again, you are on your own. If an online casino decides not to pay you, there is nothing you can do. In theory, you can address your complaint to the Commerce Industry and Economy Ministry. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the postal address is Costa Rica Commerce Industry and Economy Ministry, Edificio del IFAM, San Jose, Costa Rica 10216-1000. But as we mentioned, there are no laws or legislature for the gambling companies. Therefore, the situation is hopeless.