While Costa Rica, a small country in Central America, it has already licensed more than 300 gambling companies and continues to issue more than 100 gaming licenses annually, an agreement to legalize and regulate online gambling has yet to be reached. Costa Rica's law is thus paradoxical: the country issues licenses for iGaming, although there is currently no current legislation on the subject. Worse, online gambling is illegal in Costa Rica! This absolute lawlessness makes Costa Rica a Paradise for gaming companies.
Costa Rica has neither legislation to oversee the online gambling industry nor a regulatory body. Gambling operators based in Costa Rica are not subject to any rules or controls. In 2013, the Costa Rican government pledged to establish a gambling control Board to regulate online gambling, but to date, this body has not been established.
License types of MEIC
Two bodies - the Municipality and the National Registry of Costa Rica-issue gaming licenses.
(Note: Strictly speaking, Costa Rica's license is a data processing license, not a gambling license. It is called - " data processing license")
Both documents allow gambling, but there is a difference between them.
- The license issued by the Municipality gives the right to provide services in both land-based and online casinos without any restrictions regarding player nationality.
- The license issued by the National registry only allows online gambling and prohibits the provision of services to Costa Ricans.
There is also the option to obtain a sublicense from the license holder, who simply adds the new company to their license.
Even despite the restrictions, Costa Rica's license has its advantages that contribute to its popularity in the world:
- Allows a casino to add a wide range of gambling entertainment (sweepstakes, lotteries, keno, and any other gambling);
- No special software requirements;
- No management obligations;
- No income tax;
- There is no law regulating gambling;
- Obtaining a license does not take much time.
Of course, this doesn't look the best for players when it comes to disputes with a casino licensed in Costa Rica. The chances of solving the issue with the help of the regulator are quite low. However, there is an opportunity to complain about the casino. Complaints can be submitted to the Ministry of trade, industry, and economy of Costa Rica. There is a special form on the site, as well as email and phone for complaints.