Companies offering gambling services out of Costa Rica do not exactly inspire confidence in customers. After all, this jurisdiction's main requirement for licensing is that companies pay for a regular business license. Then they can do whatever they like as long as they do not accept Costa Rican customers. In fact, Costa Rica has no real laws that apply to online gaming and, along with the negligible tax rate, it has inevitably become a haven for numerous rogue online casinos.
Requirements for Costa Rican licensing
One reason why over 300 online gaming companies have come to reside in Costa Rica is because of the lack of requirements for licensing. A company only needs to pay $5000 for a general purpose business license, $5000 for license renewal at the end of the year, and $500 for legal costs. These companies don’t even have to pay taxes since all their revenue is from foreign sources.
Other than the financial aspects there are no further requirements that must be met. Do you lack a longstanding reputation within the gambling industry? Are audited payouts and software an annoyance that you would rather avoid? Would you have difficulty passing a fitness of character test enforced by other jurisdictions? If a prospective operator answers yes to any or all of these kind of questions, Costa Rica is one of the go-to destinations.
Over the years we have seen several less than honest online casinos claiming to be licensed by the "Costa Rican Gaming Commission" or other such official sounding organisation. Do not be fooled by claims such as these as there is simply no such thing!
Complaints and Dispute Resolution (non existent!)
To date, Costa Rica does not have a central governing body that handles complaints from customers. Instead, Costa Rican online gaming companies govern themselves, which leaves players at the mercy of individual operators when it comes to disputes.
We advise players to research long and hard before depositing a cent at an online casino operating out of Costa Rica. There are some decent ones around which have proven themselves over many years of solid operation, but as for the rest - forget about it.