Casinos for you
Costa Rica is likely the easiest place to register an online casino in the world. However, the lack of licensing process makes Costa Rica online casinos less safe than others. Proceed with caution!
Online Casinos Licensed by Costa Rica Gambling License
Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world where online casinos register just like any business. Land based casinos are banned under law and Costa Rican citizens are banned from playing at online casinos, but an online casino may register and legally work as a business within the country with no obstacles.
The process of registration is the same as it would be for any business, no special taxes are charged and the law basically does not address the issue at all. As such, several dozen online casinos have decided to make Costa Rica their home, as the fact that no special licensing is required makes it very easy to start up the business in the country.
About Costa Rica Gambling License
When surfing the internet, you will soon find out that there are literally thousands of online casinos pasted all over the web, offering seemingly reputable services, great bonus offers, and a wide variety of entertainment available to play from either your desktop or mobile device.
Among the vendors, there are bound to be a few ‘sketchy’ traders looking to prey on the ignorant and naïve. Unfortunately, newbies to the industry often fall victim to rogue casinos and their less than idyllic practices.
One of the best ways to sort the ‘respectable’ from the ‘rabble’ is by looking at a casinos licensing and audit history. But, what happens when countries condone online gambling without offering sufficient legislation and governance over the industry? In short, you may be dealing with a ticking time-bomb.
What about Costa Rica?
The country of Costa Rica in located in Central America, bordering Nicaragua and Panama. The country has enjoyed democracy since 1949 and has a very stable government. Unfortunately, the gambling industry is not regulated as well as the country is, which is quite odd when taking into consideration that there are over 300 online casinos based there.
Isn’t it ironic? In a region as free and loose with online gambling licencing as Costa Rica they have an iron grip on their land based gambling with well-structured regulations enforced by an active Gambling Commission.
Gambling is allowed in the country under certain limitations:
- Games with random outcomes are banned. For example, Blackjack is banned, but locals have replaced the game with another card game called ‘Rummy’ which works in a very similar way.
- Online Gambling is banned for Costa Rican residents, yet online casinos may operate from within the borders as long as they service outside countries.
- The most popular form of gambling found in the country includes sport-betting and the lotto.
Why Costa Rica is an online gambling Haven?
There are a good number of reasons why casino vendors choose Costa Rica as a country to trade from. These include:
Lax Online Gambling Regulations
Online casinos are left to their own devices, so long as they do not operate within the borders of the country. So long as vendors pay their yearly licenses, they are allowed to trade and are not answerable to anyone regarding ethical practices and customer services. Each casino is left to govern themselves.
“William Shakespeare: Lawless are they that make their wills their law”
Licenses are easy to come by
In fact, there is no gambling license available in Costa Rica. Casinos need just to register as a normal business and purchase a “Data processing license”. In order to qualify for this, they must have an office space in the country. A license is therefore no reputable indicator that the casino is ethical in any way.
You may come across certain casino sites from this area claiming to be licensed by the “Costa Rican Gaming Commission” or a like sounding name, but do not be fooled, as there is no such thing, at all!
Taxing is lenient
Online Casinos based in Costa Rica are not taxed on their profits or their turnover, because all of their trade is outside the country. The only tax levied against these casinos is for the number of employees that they have at the company. The minimum employees needed to qualify for taxes are 10.
Because of this, casinos find a rather hospitable environment for their practices. Unfortunately, this sort of environment is conducive to producing Rogue Casinos.
The Domino Effect!
Unfortunately, because of the lack of governance over the industry, it leaves casinos operators as the masters of their own destiny. The knock-on effect from this sort of environments produces vendors with rather unfavourable merits. Not all casinos can be painted with the same brush, but the majority of operators from the area have every right to do what they want to. This can result in:
What Costa Rican online casinos are open to, if they so choose....
Service excellence issues
Because there is nowhere to report bad or unethical practice, casinos are not forced to resolve issues to your liking. Because there are no laws, there is no standard form of practice to adhere to.
Because there is no standard to live up to, you may find that online casinos in this district may not be uniform with one another. This is one of the advantages of license authorities in other parts of the world – you can expect an operating standard.
There is not governance in place to ensure that players and their sensitive information are safe on these casino sites. Who’s to say that they have any precautions in place to protect your money and your privacy?
Potential to Not Honour Bonuses and Payouts
No one can enforce that the casino lives up to its word with regards to the deposit match from bonuses and the pay out of wins. Operators can make up any excuse not to pay-out a portion of your winnings, or nothing at all, even though you may have paid out hundreds of dollars on wagers at the casino.
Because audits cannot be made on random number generators and the like, casinos may stack the odds heavily in their favour resulting in very few wins taking place.
The Community has your back
Obviously, every business that wants to succeed in the long run, will make sure that their customers come back for repeat business, and because of this there are some well established casinos that live up to a decent moral code.
You do however need to be aware that unlike when dealing with a casino regulated by the UKGC or other regulated markets you have no one in your corner that can hold the operator accountable for their actions, and enforce a resolution to your queries should any arise.
This is why we recommend that should you choose to play at a (solely) Costa Rican licenced casino, make sure that you read up on the GamblersPick Community reviews, and even check if any of them have qualified for the GamblersPick badge, before depositing a single cent.
Costa Rica Gambling License Licensed Online Casinos
Costa Rica may be one of the easiest places to register an online casino in the world. As such, many online casinos have decided to avoid the complex and costly licensing processes of other regulatory bodies, and simply register their company in Costa Rica, operating under their own terms. You can find the whole list of Costa Rica online casinos right here.
Unlike many other gaming licensing bodies, the Costa Rican government does not really do anything to make sure an online casino is safe and fair. Once a company is registered, the casino may do as they please, making Costa Rica online casinos less safe than others. While we are not saying all Costa Rica online casinos are doing anything shady, if an online casino did want to run a less than fair business, Costa Rica would be a great place for them to register.
Before playing with any Costa Rica online casino, make sure you check online for reviews and decide for yourself if the casino is really safe.
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FAQAre Costa Rica online casinos safe to play at?The lack of real licensing process makes Costa Rica online casinos very questionable when it comes to safety. The fact is that any online casino can register in Costa Rica, without any real vetting process.Should I play at Costa Rica casinos, then?There are some Costa Rica casinos that are perfectly safe, so it is up to you to decide which casinos you play at. Before you start playing, make sure you find as much information on the casino in question as possible, or refer to our list of safe Costa Rican casinos.Can I play if I live in Costa Rica?No! Costa Rica registered online casinos are not allowed to accept Costa Rican citizens under law.
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