Costa Rica jurisdictions

Talking about institutions that manage either land-based or online gambling industries, there are the stringent ones, for example the United Kingdom, and there are overly flexible ones, such as Curacao. And there’s Costa Rica, whose regulatory system is undoubtedly the most unique one there is.

This country doesn’t have any licensing authority or framework for this sector, but it does have some sort of Gambling Commission. Native citizens are not permitted to gamble in either form, while foreigners can play games in both brick and mortar facilities and web-based ones. However, locals do it, as no actions are taken to halt it.


Overview of Gambling Regulations

Even though online gambling entered the country relatively early, to date, no strict and precise regulations have appeared to organize this entertainment branch from a legal point of view. The only document we can rely on when talking about legal aspect is Ley de Regulación de Apuestas, Casinos y Juegos de Azar (Expediente N.° 17.551), the Costa Rican gambling law from 2010.

According to this rule, locals cannot gamble using real money in land-based establishments. Yet, they can play in online parlors as long as they are not certified in Costa Rica. No limitations apply to foreigners. Furthermore, the country doesn’t have an official regulatory body that would give some guidelines on all crucial segments.

But, we do hear about licenses issued by Costa Rica, don’t we? What are those then?

Those actually represent an approval to run a company in this country, as permitted by the Commercial Code of Costa Rica. In case a company generates revenue outside this area (meaning, from offshore consumers), no taxes apply. This certificate actually represents approval to process data. Upon receiving it, the company is no longer supervised by the said Gambling Commission as they are not in charge of monitoring data processing licenses.

Why is This Jurisdiction So Popular among Operators?

Compared to other countries belonging to Central America, this particular one is socially, economically, and politically stable. Also, there are no stringent regulations for those wishing to establish an entertainment company, and above all- licensing procedure (to call it that way, in the absence of a more appropriate word) is not complicated.

Aside from the flexible laws, there’s one more thing that ranks Costa Rica as the top choice of potential operators. This country holds the reputation of one of the most crypto-friendliest territories in the world.

Believe it or not, it even has a couple of ATMs where people can pay in crypto assets. Some companies even have the possibility of paying a part of the salary in cryptocurrencies. With such a proactive and forward-thinking approach, we can say that the country’s future in this segment is more than bright.

Knowing that Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other digital payment assets have already taken the iGaming industry by the storm, it’s, once again, quite evident why Costa Rica is among favorite jurisdictions.

Is there Any Player Protection?


As you can see, gambling licenses in this country are not typical licenses issued by other regulators such as UK, Alderney, Sweden, Malta, Gibraltar, or even Curacao. They represent certificates for data processing.

This means that the market lacks a couple of significant ingredients which could assure punters that they won’t encounter any issues when approaching a venue certified by this country. Here are the missing pieces of the puzzle:

  • There’s no body to control or supervise the quality, randomness, and fairness of the software
  • No proof that the content has passed some evaluations, usually conducted by test labs
  • None of the operators is obliged to establish any guidelines for safety and protection; they don’t have to equip a platform with tools for responsible gambling
  • There’s no code for advertising, or rules for communication with consumers, especially with those who are vulnerable or at higher risk to develop gaming-related issues
  • No official body or third-party service to mediate in case a problem cannot be solved with customer support

Consequently, the only conclusion that comes to mind is- there’s no player protection at all. It’s up to service providers whether they will or won’t value their clients and treat them well. Also, it’s up to punters to be cautious when selecting a venue to deposit their funds.

Can These Betting Venues Be Described as Rogue?

When it comes to a license, "any" is better than no license at all, wouldn’t you agree? Yet, one cannot deny that there are plenty of differences between regulatory institutions.

While some of them have precisely defined and neatly organized every single segment of the industry (both Internet and land-based sector), certain bodies aren’t so preoccupied with bringing more standards to this segment. Costa Rica and Curacao are two such examples.

So, compared to establishments greenlighted by serious regulators, venues approved by these two bodies are more prone to exhibiting roguish behavior. Still, they don’t necessarily have to be blacklisted.

It’s up to each company to decide how to communicate with its clientele. We all know that word of mouth plays an important role, and we also know that bad words spread faster than good ones.

How Difficult Is It to Find a Good Online Bingo Room?


What we are trying to say is that people won’t hesitate to share their experiences with online bingo rooms and casinos on versatile forums, so those can be starting points for searching for a suitable entertainment parlor. Whenever in doubt regarding a licensor’s reputation, browse the forums to see what punters think about a facility approved by such a body.

Also, while we are all aware that no outfit approved by Costa Rica is obliged to equip its platform with any protection measures whatsoever or certificates from test labs, some of them will obtain those, just to look more trustworthy in the eyes of consumers.

Finally, take time to thoroughly read the Terms and Conditions. If there are any unfair rules or points that aren’t well explained, reach out to the customer support team and seek explanations. It’s a great way to test the quality of the support department. In case demo mode is available, have a couple of rounds on the house, and then make a decision.

Gamble responsibly!

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