Costa Rica News – Costa Rica in Central America has an economy that includes an online gambling industry. The multi-million dollar industry lives partially in the shadows for a number of reasons but mostly because of the constant pressure applied by law enforcement and prosecutors from the United States.
The online gambling industry in Costa Rica is starting to show signs of strain as the situation in Costa Rica become embroiled in controversy. The entrepreneurs in Costa Rica who developed an industry that produces billions of dollars each year are under threat from sources such as the American Gaming Association which has bought advertising slamming the industry in Costa Rica portraying it in a negative light.
The early years of the 21st century were essentially the golden age of online gambling in Costa Rica. Sports bookies and poker entrepreneurs from the U.S.A. were happy to be able to operate in relative freedom. From 2000 to 2004, federal law enforcement agents from the USA executed arrest warrants in Costa Rica of individuals allegedly involved in online sports book operations. Then in 2005 and 2006, two of the biggest global brands in online gambling were subject to raids by U.S. law enforcement officers in Costa Rica with the accusation that these people were involved in money laundering operations violating America’s Wire Act.
Since the various attacks on the industry from the US legal teams, many online gambling firms have found other more secure environments in Europe to offer their services and conduct their business without fear of arrest or prosecution.
Costa Rica is changing fast with the proliferation of fast food chains, the presence of American law enforcement in the country, and increased inflation and budget deficits. Internet gambling in Costa Rica has had its day with its negative image enshrined by the Hollywood characterization in the recent film ‘Runner Runner’.