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Costa Rica – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Despite its laid-back attitude, Costa Rica has quite a few contradictions when it comes to the regulation of online gambling activities. Residents of the beautiful Central American country are not permitted to gamble online. Any games of chance are also ruled out in the small amount of legislation provided on the matter. A weird quirk of this legislation is the fact that Costa Rican law doesn’t recognize a casino’s physical server space as the place where gambling takes place. This means that gambling sites can operate from the nation of Costa Rica, provided that they are not offering their entertainment services to local residents.
More information about Costa Rica – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.