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More information about Costa Rica – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations

Table of Contents

Find the Best Costa Rica Casino Online

This gray-zone that Costa Rica finds itself in can be quite difficult for the average player to navigate through. Essentially, what you must know as a resident is that all forms of online gambling are illegal. The legality of the activity doesn’t stop it from being available though. You will still be able to find legitimately licensed and reputable sites that have their doors open for Costa Rican players. As the online gambling market is internationally based and operating purely on the internet, it means that it is pretty much up to a nation’s government to control the flow. Restricted and unregulated markets are pretty similar in that they can attract a lot of black market activities. That is why you need to be fully sure that you are able to tell the difference between a legitimate and illegitimate casino.

  • Does the casino have a verifiable and valid license?
  • Is the site verified by any other 3rd parties?
  • Does the site have Spanish language options?
  • Are any of my preferred payment methods supported?
  • Can I use cryptocurrencies as an alternative?
  • Is it possible to find any reviews or customer feedback of the casino?

Covering all of these questions, for any given casino you may have an interest in, can amount to quite a lot of time and effort. So, why not stick with GoodLuckMate where we do all of the hard work. You can be sure to find thoroughly researched reviews and articles written by veterans of the industry.

Gambling Regulation

You will most likely find conflicting information when searching Costa Rican gambling authorities. While a site’s reputation can easily be judged or implied by its license, the requirement of having a license in the first place is not strictly necessary to operate within the country. There were signs back in 2013 that the government would shift towards establishing a dedicated regulatory authority, along with work also being done by the Finance Ministry. Little has come of this up to now though and we suspected that many are cautiously optimistic that more progress will develop in the future.

For now, players from Costa Rica will need to treat gambling like most other countries with unregulated or restricted markets. Being extra vigilant and overly cautious is very important for players who want to keep themselves safe online. Costa Rican players have no safety nets or legal recourse to take, should they fall victim to playing at an illegitimate site. Such illegitimate sites tend to most present within countries where there are no authorities dedicated to upholding the market’s regulations. As such, any online activities you conduct will be at your own risk, but you can at least minimize that risk by keeping yourself informed and paying attention to all of your options.

Localized Online Casinos

The Latin American online casino market has really started coming alive in the past couple of years, which does have its benefits for Costa Rican players. Spanish language options and support are becoming more readily available for players around the world, for example. This also goes for regional payment options, sporting and cultural events. More and more casinos are seeing the potentials of opening up their services for the Spanish-speaking world and trends indicate that the market competition will continue to grow, meaning that casinos will have to compete against each other to offer up the best Latin American gambling experience possible. This will therefore have the knock-on effect of making establishments dedicated to the Spanish speaking market to commit to an expanded range of localization options.

Gambling with Costa Rican colóns

The adoption of Costa Rican colóns is unfortunately not something that has come with the Latino wave quite yet. You will therefore most likely be given the option of choosing euros or US dollars as the currency for your player account. Cryptocurrencies are becoming more readily available at online casinos though, which offers players a great alternative to traditional currencies. Purchasing cryptocurrencies using your colóns and then depositing your cryptocurrency to your player account is a perfectly viable way of diminishing the cost that currency conversion incurs. You will however have to be aware of the fluctuating rates that come with cryptocurrencies.

Casinos in Costa Rica

There are plenty of attractive land-based casinos currently operating in Costa Rica. Casino Horseshoe Costa Rica and Croc’s Resort & Casino are both well-established venues that offer up excellent gambling services. The issue comes when looking for an online casino that is legitimate and able to provide its services to Costa Rican players. 

It is usually a lack of regulation, including complete prohibition, that causes issues with a country’s relationship with gambling. Prohibition causes black market operations to operate under much less scrutiny while causing logistical nightmares for legitimate casinos. Costa Rica will seriously need to reevaluate its position on gambling so that it can create a clearly defined acceptable standard for organizations to operate within. Only then can Cost Rican players enjoy the activity without having to constantly be alert.

  • A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.

    Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.

  • If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.

    Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.

  • The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.

    The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.

  • An SSL-encrypted website should be mandatory for any casino, and very few casinos operate without this or similar safe encryption features. Always keep in mind that you are giving the casino quite a bit of sensitive information, including your payment details. When you’re uploading and sending documents to verify your identity, you want to make sure that no unauthorized third-party has access to them. Site security, therefore, doesn’t only include the website itself but also what the casino does on the backend. You should always look into a casino’s data security. You’ll normally find information about this in their terms and conditions and their privacy policy. If in doubt, contact their support and ask for more detailed information.

    Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.

  • The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.

    The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.