As far as gambling is concerned, it exists in Costa Rica as a legal entity with its own regulatory body presiding over things – Ley de Regulación de Apuestas, Casinos y Juegos de Azar. This has led to Costa Rica ascending through the gambling market as a jurisdiction that several online platforms have turned to for a gambling licence. So, let’s learn more about this country’s overall status in the gambling world.
Best Costa Rican Online Casinos
Online gambling in Costa Rica
It is a mixed bag when talking about online gambling Costa Rica. If an online casino bases itself within Costa Rica and holds a Costa Rican licence, then players from the country cannot access and play at these sites.
These platforms are, of course, available to gamers who reside outside of the country and who are able to access offshore casinos. On the other hand, if a Costa Rican citizen wishes to gamble online, they can also do this via foreign sites. By this rule, they need to find a platform that does not possess a Costa Rican licence, but that still accepts players from the country (and to keep things safe and secure, holds a license from elsewhere).
The legal status of online casino gambling in the country of Costa Rica is actually fairly confusing in itself too. Costa Rica was one of the very first countries to legalise casino gambling on the whole back in the 90s. This legalisation made it a very popular location for various online casinos to base their operations within the country. As it stands today though, online platforms are only able to apply for a data-processing licence within Costa Rica. Alas, due to a considerable lack of clear legislation relating to the online gambling world, many countries with tough gambling laws like Australia and the USA, play at online casinos based in Costa Rica.
Available online casino games
Costa Ricans play every game you would find at a land-based gambling destination at online casinos. These include 1000s of real money slots and heaps of variations of table games. If you are new to the online world and are looking to play table games live dealer is the way to go. Check out our handy guides to read more about specific games available on the web:
Costa Rican Colon deposit options
Even though there are many online offshore casinos that are available to players from Costa Rica, it’s very difficult to find one that accepts deposits made in Costa Rican Colons – the national currency. This being the case, it’s quite standard that these platforms will convert any deposits into US Dollars instead. However, because the government doesn’t restrict its citizens from depositing in offshore online casinos, there are various payment options available to use in order to do this. Some of these include the following possibilities:
- Credit and Debit Cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express
- eWallets: Neteller, Skrill, PayPal
- Prepaid Cards: Entropay
- Bank Transfers: Bank Wire Transfer, Fast Bank Transfer
Gambling history in Costa Rica
Even though Costa Rica is quite a small country, it remains as a very popular location for all types of casino gambling. In fact, gambling conferences frequently take place in the country, with casinos contributing a great amount towards the tourism industry revenues.
The difference with this is that the land-based casino sector is very strictly regulated in comparison with the online market. Brick-and-mortar establishments are required to possess a licence to be able to operate, and furthermore, they’re only allowed to be open between the hours of 6pm and 2am.
Additionally, casinos are only able to operate as part of a hotel complex, although certain laws may come into effect soon to change that situation.
This being the case, casinos are fully legal within the country, although the types of games that they can provide to players is a little bit more confusing. It is considered somewhat illegal to place wagers on games that provide random outcomes – therefore, the games that don’t require any sort of skill level to participate in. This being the case, offerings like blackjack are frequently banned from casinos (although can still be found in operation at others). Costa Rica currently plays host to about 30 land-based casino establishments, with the majority of these being located in the capital city of San José.
Online casino & gambling laws
When it comes to the status of online casinos and gambling in the country, things once again become a little bit confusing overall. Even though Costa Rica was one of the first countries in the world to make online casino gaming legal back in the 90s, the licences they acquired were only data-processing licences.
This means that back then, most online casinos within the country were operating without a proper gambling licence. Even though Costa Rica still plays host to a larger number of online casinos today, these platforms aren’t really supervised on such a high level. This means that speedy withdrawals are sometimes very difficult to enforce and often don’t happen on a level that they should.
This has been the case for a long time now, and while the government has had plans to alter the legislation and provide a more regulated sector, these talks have been in place for years already. An online casino law was drafted in 2013, which looked to establish a gaming control board for Costa Rica. This was to be funded by a tax coming from the gross income of online casino sites. A secondary tax would become a part of the law, helping to fund the battle against online crime. This law has not yet become official, although if it did, licensing fees would stand at around $50,000 per year.
Furthermore, with such an online gambling law coming into practice, Costa Rica’s online market could become a lot safer for players. Plus, as far as it pertains to Costa Rican players, they cannot access sites that hold licences from their own country. Instead, they need to locate an offshore platform which accepts Costa Rican players.
Costa Rica geography
The Republic of Costa Rica (or simply known as just Costa Rica), is located in Central America. It shares borders with Nicaragua to its north, Panama to the southeast and two different seas on either side of it. Being a part of Central America, Costa Rica is a fairly small country, consisting of a population of 4.9 million people. Even though it rests amongst various other questionably-run countries, Costa Rica is actually known for its stable democracy as well as its highly-educated workforce.