Costa Rica News – One by one the US federal government is taking down the sportsbook operations in Costa Rica. In most cases these businesses are not paying taxes on their earnings, but that is because the US government has deemed it illegal so they have to hide operations. The simple solution make it legal and tax it, but we all know that the brains in Washington do not work in regards to using common sense.
Wednesday there was a federal indictment for operating an illegal sports bookmaking business against 34 people and 23 companies, mostly from Central America and Costa Rica.
The U.S. Attorney says that the charges followed a multi-year FBI and Internal Revenue Service investigation. He says that “The defendants cannot hide the allegedly illegal sports gambling operation behind corporate veils or state and international boundaries.” The U.S. government seems determined to slow or stop online gambling by U.S. citizens, which is illegal. The idea is that it is illegal no matter where the person gambling or the company they choose to bet with are located.
The indictment is 95 pages long and accuses that the business, Legendz Sports, solicited over a billion dollars in bets almost exclusively from U.S. clientele. Furthermore, it states that other companies were used as payment processors and to make payouts to customers. Websites and telephone gambling services were found to be operated out of Panama, as well. Conspiracy to violate federal racketeering and money laundering statutes was included in the indictment, as well. The accused are said to have violated gambling statutes of many states. They are also said to have worked with bookies living in the U.S.
If convicted, the defendants face jail time as well as forfeiture of $1 billion in assets including bank accounts, IRAs, domain names, an aircraft, and vehicles.
Sportsbooks generate 1000s of jobs in Costa Rica and are some of the highest paying jobs that many Costa Ricans and foreigners living here can obtain. It is quite common for sportsbooks to pay employees over $1,500 per month depending on experience. This is over double the national average salary and that money goes back into the economy of Costa Rica.
Coincidence that this bust happened only a few weeks before Obama come and visits Costa Rica? Probably not.
There is a hidden agenda that is being discussed between Costa Rica government officials and the US government behind closed doors. This is most likely just the beginning. When a country is over 16 trillion in debt it will try to get funds anywhere it can.