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The Suite Blog >> The Enigma of Online Gambling in Costa Rica

 

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April 21, 2008 - Let's talk about Costa Rica shall we? Believe me, as much as I want to discuss the lush tropical rain forests and naturally flowing hot springs of Costa Rica, and as much as I would like to be sitting in those hot springs right now, there is something even more pressing to discuss on this blog, and it's nigh time I did so.

So, you may have heard that Costa Rica regulates online gambling. No doubt there's plenty of online casinos who call Costa Rica their home. But hold on just a second. Calling Costa Rica "home" does not necessarily mean that Costa Rica is regulating online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks. In fact, it doesn't mean that at all.

Yep, that's right. Costa Rica doesn't regulate or monitor online casinos. They simply allow betting site operators to host their operations from within country borders - for a "nominal" fee, of course. So, in other words, the more apt description would be that Costa Rica is a haven for online gambling criminal activities. Now, I'm not saying that every betting site based out of Costa Rica is a crook; However, attention must be paid to the fact that many online casinos who have turned out to be rogues set up shop in Costa Rica.

Honestly, Costa Rica makes plenty of money from their online gambling activities. So much so, in fact, that opposite to just about every other country with legalized land-based casino gambling, Costa Rica has recently been trying to crack down on brick 'n mortar casinos threatening the welfare of its online gambling empire of sorts.

That's exactly what brought Costa Rica to my attention and prompted me to set the record as straight as I can (never mind the fact that one of my ears is higher than the other...not sure which). The Tourism Minister of Costa Rica, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, was quoted in the news this week saying that Costa Rica does not desire to become another Las Vegas.

So, as a means of prevention, new regulations are calling for casinos to cut back their operational hours to 6pm - 2 am. Free alcohol will be going by-by, and any new gambling establishment will be required to have 3-star resort amenities with no more than 15% of the resorts total floor designated for casino gambling activities.

We'll just have to wait and see if the same type of crackdown is imposed on the online gambling industry. I find it very interesting how Costa Rica is crying bloody murder to the World Trade Organization and seeking compensation from the U.S. much in the same manner Antigua and Barbuda did when the U.S. imposed a ban on foreign internet betting sites. In the meantime folks, please don't gamble at an online casino, or any betting site for that matter, who says they are licensed in Costa Rica or who is based out of Costa Rica. It's simply not worth the risk.

Originally published: April, 2008 | Categories: Gambling

 

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