Costa Rica News – As one of the world’s most popular places to set up an online gambling business, we are blessed to have other nations investing in our economy to run their offshore operations from. Our nation has long been considered a haven from which other countries conduct their businesses out of – as in their own countries the laws are much stricter, prohibiting setting up online gambling businesses in their own jurisdictions.
Are things about to change?
There are no laws in Costa Rico that outlaw online gambling operations and as such it has made us a popular location for those from overseas looking to set up shop. That’s not to say that these online gambling operations (both casinos and sports betting operations) are serving Costa Rican customers. Most of the online gambling houses running out of Costa Rico target the American market.
The projected figure for the overall online gambling market for 2017 was 47.11 billion dollars, calculated in 2015 – and a hefty amount of this was the funds being poured in from the US. The US is one of the most restrictive markets in the world when it comes to gambling. Casinos and sports betting are only allowed in less than a handful of states (think Vegas and Atlantic City) and betting outsides of these jurisdictions is illegal.
That’s not to say that the market isn’t flourishing though, thanks to websites that serve up betting options to punters from other places on earth. Sure, it’s illegal to run a betting house from the States, and it may even be illegal to bet in the States, but they aren’t going after the guy on the street – they’re only prosecuting businesses.
So for a business to be able to serve their gambling services from another spot on the planet, giving US citizens what they want, without running the risk of being prosecuted for it… Well, that’s a massive dangling carrot. Sure, company CEOs probably shouldn’t try travelling in the States for fear of lawful retribution, but if they don’t, then they’re pretty much untouchable. Sounds like a win for them.
You might be wondering whether all this is running on the right side of the law overall. While it might be a little hazy due to international lines, it is most perfectly legal under the structure of our country, government, and legislation. We do not have any specific online gambling licensing or legislation in place. How other countries choose to define and run themselves is not our domain.
Online gambling houses are able to operate out of Costa Rica because our laws do not expressly prohibit it, and our fees to set up a company within our country are comparatively inexpensive. To set up a company in Costa Rico costs a mere fraction of the costs associated with setting up a company in another country which also allows the same. People only need to set up a Costa Rican Corporation, register with the taxation department, and obtain a Data Processing License.
Has it worked for us, though, allowing others to set up these businesses in our country? It’s all well and good to provide others a place to do business from, so long as it’s being a big enough boost to the economy. The issue with egambling houses operating out of Costa Rico is that we don’t have fixed rules set in place or an authority to deal specifically with this type of company. It is here where we are missing the mark in terms of available profits.
Should we set up rules and regulations along with gambling taxation, etc. to deal with these type of operations we could be garnering far greater profits from online casinos and betting operations than we do currently. Other jurisdictions where people from overseas can come and set up an online gambling business, such as Belize and Malta have made legislation to licence and audit the companies, which puts a great deal more trust in players. As Clyde Jackson from NoDepositHero puts it, “Our players are more likely to place bets with a trusted site, operating out of a country where they know the rules are going to be fair and that their money is safe.” It’s for this reason that our popularity as an online gambling business haven has fallen.
By implementing rules and regulations surrounding egambling businesses within Costa Rico it could provide a significant boost to the economy. The incoming president may or may not take a closer look at tackling online gambling reform, however it would be a good discussion to have. If houses are already making profits out of our country, then why not either scrap it altogether if they disagree with gambling, or better yet, at least make some more profits out of this truly booming business?
It’s food for thought, and it’s likely to become a significant piece of legislation at one time or another, but the question is whether we’re likely to see change sooner or later.