Costa Rica is a central American country that allows online casinos to register as official commercial businesses. Although the country has banned land-based casinos from setting up business within its borders, review of the law has found that this does not apply to online gaming companies registered by the Costa Rican government. As such, over 40 different online casinos have chosen Costa Rica as their official destination of registration.
It is important to note that Costa Rica is unique among all other online casino licensing jurisdictions. This is because the law simply does not address the subject of online gaming licensing at all. Rather, any online casino registers basically the same way as any other corporation that is present in Costa Rica. The only special regulation is that the server of the online casino must block Costa Rica itself, since it is prohibited for residents to gamble online.
Obtaining a License
For an online casino to get a license from Costa Rica, they must supply a variety of information about their business. This can usually be done by filling out a registration form with the Costa Rica Tax Authority, as well as getting a few other government certifications. After processing is complete, the online casino is officially registered with the Costa Rican government.
Limited Player Protections
Because Costa Rica does not provide special licensing requirements for online casinos, there are no inherent safeguards for players who play at an online casino registered in Costa Rica. The registration merely provides a legal framework for the casino to operate within. There are no randomness requirements, so unless a third-party audit can be found on the casino website, a Costa Rica license does not guarantee a genuinely fair game. Furthermore, casinos registered in Costa Rica are not required to report back to the government in the future. Essentially, the casino is unregulated.
If you do have an issue with an online casino that cannot be resolved directly, you should look to other third-party affiliates to assist with the issue first. Since Costa Rica does not have a department of their government specifically designed for online gaming issues, getting a response can be difficult.
For these reasons, players are often encouraged exert caution before signing up at any casino that is registered solely with Costa Rica. Although there are many who choose the jurisdiction simply to lower operating costs that still have a very solid business ethic, Costa Rica is a popular destination for fraudulent online casinos. To reduce this problem, many affiliates will provide information to guide players to safe online casinos licensed within Costa Rica.