The Central American country of Costa Rica is well-known for a number of things. A tolerant style of government, diversified goods and services, and environmental sustainability just to name a few. It’s also famous in the gambling industry for its relaxed attitude towards online gambling operators in the region, despite having very little in the way of specific legislation to deal with them.
In Costa Rica, it’s illegal for residents to gamble online. Plus, it’s illegal for the people to gamble at all on games that have any random outcome. However, according to Costa Rican law, the physical location of an online gambling operator’s server isn’t where gambling actually takes place. Therefore, it’s legal for companies to offer online gambling services from Costa Rica, providing they don’t offer them to residents of the region.
You can find more information on the gambling jurisdiction of Costa Rica below.
Due to the lack of specific online gambling legislation in Costa Rica, it’s relatively easy for an operator to establish itself in the jurisdiction. A data processing license is needed; the requirements for which include having a physical office located within Costa Rica. There are authorized consultants in the region which offer assistance in obtaining such a license.
Due to a large number of gambling sites basing themselves in Costa Rica, an internet gaming license was introduced. This license is still not strictly required in order to provide online gambling services from the region, although most sites do apply for it regardless. However, there’s no real regulation in place, and online gambling operators based in Costa Rica have a lot more freedom in what they can and can’t do.
Because of the lack of regulation in this jurisdiction, it doesn’t appear on the white-list of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. As such, gambling sites based in Costa Rica cannot market their services to UK residents.
In 2013, the region began to move towards a more regulated environment. Plans to establish a gaming control board were announced and the Finance Ministry outlined drafts for regulatory practices. At the time of writing nothing further has developed.