Simon’S Guide To Costa Rica Casinos And Online Casinos – Simon S Online Casino Gambling Blog|Simon’S Guide To Costa Rica Casinos And Online Casinos

Simon’s Guide to Costa Rica Casinos and Online Casinos – Simon s Online Casino Gambling Blog|Simon’s Guide to Costa Rica Casinos and Online Casinos

Ratings and Reviews of Online Casinos

 


1. Sol Casino

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Simon’s Guide to Costa Rica Casinos and Online Casinos

This is a guide to brick and mortar as well as online casinos in the Republic of Costa Rica. Find out which are the best casinos and online casino sites in Costa Rica, or learn more about the legal status of casino gambling in the country.

Online casinos in Costa Rica

Legal status: illegal, players are not prosecuted

The legal status of online casino gambling in Costa Rica can be very confusing. You are probably already asking:

How come online casino gambling is illegal, in a country well known for the 100+ online casino sites licensed, registered, and operating out of the country? Are you drunk?

Yes, you would be forgiven to think that, but rest assured, it’s no typo, and it is indeed illegal (although, players are not prosecuted, only rouge and unlicensed companies are targeted). And I don’t drink alcohol at all, for many, many years… :).

To understand the situation about the internet casinos, let’s start with what is 100% legal, for certain:

  • It is legal to register an online casino company and get an “online gambling license” (a data processing license to be precise, licensing process and info can be found below).
  • It is legal for these Costa Rica incorporated, tax paying, legally operating, licensed companies to maintain online casino operations, and accept players online.

And let’s continue with what is definitely not legal:

  • It is illegal for Costa Rica licensed online casinos to accept citizens of the Republic of Costa Rica.

As you can see, online casino gambling is only legal, insofar as online casino licensing of companies, which accept players online, from abroad. Only!

Costa Rica was one of the first countries to legalize online casinos in the 1990s, during the Caribbean online casino gold rush, when the Caribbean micronations (mainly: Aruba, Curacao, Panama, Belize) all copied each other, and competed to be the sleaziest tax haven, and to be the most laissez faire online gambling licensing hub (and they were quite successful at it…, and they reaped their just rewards: scandals, even assassinations, kidnappings, suicides, organized crime involvement, money laundering, bribes, corruption, politics, it was very “Games of Thronesy”, you will see a great example of this below, it’s better nowadays, but the Caribbean still has an unsavory reputation in gambling circles).

It was very popular for online casinos to base their operations in the Caribbean (less so nowadays). However, in actuality, gambling is not even legal in Costa Rica (but this is only an official stance of the government, it’s obviously not the reality of the situation, and there are many exceptions to this supposed ban on gambling: the country has 30 casinos, 100+ online casino sites licensed here, a state owned lottery, online lottery, bingo halls, electronic bingo parlours). But operators may only apply for a data-processing licence in Costa Rica, because, officially, take a deep breath, online gambling is also illegal (despite the fact that the state owned lottery operator Junta de Potección de Social has an online lottery platform…, which means, the state itself, which says online gambling is illegal, is itself active in the online gambling sector… you can’t make this up, seriously…but ‘cool story bro’, it’s illegal, whatever you say… 🙂 ).

Today, there are still several hundred online casinos based in Costa Rica because, not only is the regulation minimal, online casinos licensed here do not pay any gambling tax or corporate tax at all.

For a business, this is all good news, and let’s be honest, players don’t even know what is a gambling license, 99,99% of them will never even think about it. EXCEPT! The scandals….

Which brings us to:

The best way to illustrate and summarize what sort of key players are present in the Costa Rica online gambling sector, and why this license has such a bad rep, is to look at how the government deals with a scandal, when they are confronted with evidence, strong evidence, and strong allegations of money laundering, wire fraud, tax evasion, illegal activity:

From the 2016 case of US government versus 5Dimes, a Costa Rica licensed online bookmaker: Alvaro Montoya, Costa Rica’s Deputy Prosecutor at the Office of Money Laundering (who is reportedly very lenient and dismissed 73% of cases related to money laundering*), after being confronted by the US government, with evidence of the illegal activity, money laundering, wire fraud (using gift cards to circumvent the US Wire Act), and tax evasion of locally incensed 5Dimes Sportsbook, Alvaro simply said:

“the business of online gaming is legal, and as such, it does not fit into any offense under national law” (meaning: online gambling is not a crime in Costa Rica), and additionally, after mentioning just how much taxes they collected form that one company, he also said “We are hardly going to tax someone who commits a crime.” And that was that. Case closed, according to Alvaro, and this was added to the 73% of cases he dismissed.

Just for context, the original owner of 5Dimes Sportsbook was kidnapped, tortured and killed, and the company was owned by his widow at the time. Officially, the company had no connections to organized crime, only allegations. His death was not officially connected to his alleged connection to organized crime.**

UPDATE 2021: Since 2016, a settlement was reached between 5Dimes and the US government, the IMF got involved, threats of sanctions, the US won, $47M was paid, any further charges were dropped.

Additionally, players can not except any protection from the government, if the company behind your online casino goes belly up, then, it’s your money down the drain. If they just don’t feel like paying, because you won too much, then, that’s that, that’s all she wrote…

Therefore, I recommend avoiding Costa Rica licensed online casinos (remember, on the internet the next online casino is just a click away, don’t risk it, don’t be lazy, after all, you are going to share your credit card information with these people…).

The online casinos below are not licensed here, and they accept players from Costa Rica. Foreign online casinos are not blocked, players are not prosecuted for playing in them.

Can tourists play online while visiting Costa Rica?

Yes, the laws discussed here only apply to residents of the country, if you are a tourist (or a non-citizen expat, or illegal), you can play online freely while enjoying your vacation.

Online casino licensing and regulatory body of Costa Rica:

Only the following companies are eligible for a Costa Rica gambling license (a data processing license):

  • must be a Costa Rican corporation
  • registration with the local tax authorities
  • a commercial license, which is obtained from the local government authorities

There is no dedicated licensing and regulatory body in Costa Rica, the closest thing is the Ministry of Public Security, which issues licenses for gaming machines, tables for land-based casinos, you can try them. And also the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce, because a commercial license is also needed. I couldn’t figure it out, which one is issuing the data processing license, but I’m almost certain it’s one of the two. Both are only available in Spanish. Therefore, if you wish to get an online gambling license, you have to get a translator and contact them directly. If you find out who, or which branch of the government issues the licenses currently, please let me know.

Licensing fees include a one-off license fee of USD 5,000, an annual USD 5,000 license renewal fee, and USD 500 for legal costs.

Free advertisement for licensed local lawyers, law firms from this country

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How to get featured

  • send me a link to your website, or your employer’s website
  • send me 1-2 sentences about you and/or your business etc. something that describes the business, what you do, something that makes potential clients interested
  • send me one single picture of your company’s logo, or a picture of your office, or one of your certificates, credentials which you are proud of etc. (but don’t send a picture of yourself, for legal reasons I want to avoid uploading pictures of people)

Taxation of online casino and online gambling websites in Costa Rica: Corporations in Costa Rica aren’t taxed on income earned overseas. Since online gambling operators can only accept players from abroad, they don’t pay any gambling or corporate taxes.

For the players, taxation of gambling winnings in Costa Rica: not taxable, there was a proposal for a new 25% tax on big lottery prizes in 2020, but it was rejected***

Free advertisement for local accountants, CPAs and accounting firms from this country

Get featured on this website, here, just right under the taxation section. Advertise your services, get a link to your own website, or the accounting firm’s website you work for, on a page that is visited by gamblers looking for help with their gambling winnings, and gambling companies looking for consultants and help with their projects. And all this for free. Click on the drop down section if you are interested and want to get listed.

How to get featured

  • send me a link to your website, or your employer’s website
  • send me 1-2 sentences about you and/or your business etc. something that describes the business, what you do, something that makes potential clients interested
  • send me one single picture of your company’s logo, or a picture of your office, or one of your certificates, credentials which you are proud of etc. (but don’t send a picture of yourself, for legal reasons I want to avoid uploading pictures of people)

Age requirement of online casinos in Costa Rica: 18+

Sources, main pieces of online casino gambling legislation:

Online casinos accepting players from Costa Rica

The following online gambling websites accept players from Costa Rica:

Miami Club Digital Casino Destination

Miami Club online casino, 18+

  • Welcome bonus, 100% up to $100 on your first 8x deposit (up to $800 total)
  • Exclusive bonus code: MIFREE20, $20.00 free, every month, not just for new players, for returning players as well
  • Free spins, use coupon HOTWINGS to get 150% up to $150 plus 30 spins on the Funky Chicken 5-reel, limited time only (by the time you are reading it probably expired, only valid for a few days)

Playthrough requirements and wagering limitations

  • UPDATE 2022: The wagering of any portion of a non-deposit bonus on Roulette, Craps or Baccarat games is strictly forbidden!
  • Currently, bonuses are not available to players registering accounts from the following countries: Russia, Ukraine.
  • Bonuses cannot be combined.
  • Miami Club casino requires that a deposit of at least $25 is made on all accounts before any cash withdrawal is processed to comply with anti money laundering laws + mandatory ID check required by law (law to fight financing of terrorism and payment processor require this as well). The deposited $25 can be withdrawn afterwards with the winnings.

Bet Online Casino, Bookmaker & Poker

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  • Welcome bonus, $3000, 100% up to $1,000 on your first three deposits. Use the code BOLCASINO
  • 25% – 50% sports betting reload on every qualifying bet, code: LIFEBONUS (for the 25% bonus) and BOL1000 (for the 50% bonus)
  • +100% welcome match bonus up to 100% on your first deposit using bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, ripple, litecoin or DASH. No code required + 5% crypto boost afterwards on future deposits
  • 100% poker bonus
  • 10% weekly rebate, cashback for returning players

Playthrough requirements and wagering limitations

  • The deposit bonus amount must be wagered 30 times before withdrawal, usually (sports betting and poker bonuses 10x)
  • Forfeiting the bonus will result in the bonus and any subsequent winnings associated with it to be removed from players accounts.
  • Only one bonus can be active at a time, playthrough requirements must be met before additional promotions can be received.
  • Players must use the related bonus code in order to receive a bonus (if it has a code, not every promotion requires one).
  • Bonus funds will only be available on the Betsoft games, the other providers are not eligible,, unless otherwise stated.
  • In cases where rollover or other criteria specified in the individual bonus terms and conditions are not met within 30 days, any remaining bonus funds and associated winnings will be forfeited automatically.
  • Wagering requirements must be fulfilled before any winnings can be withdrawn.
  • Afghanistan
  • Australia
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo
  • Cote Divoire
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Eritrea
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French Southern Territories
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Hungary
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • North Korea (Republic of)
  • Panama
  • Sierra Leone
  • Slovenia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • United Kingdom
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

Fair Go Aussie Themed Casino

FairGo – click to check out the digital casino, latest promotions, offers, hundreds of pokies, Aussie players welcome

  • 100% welcome bonus up to $200, on your first 5 deposits (total $500), coupon code: WELCOME
  • 100 free spins with code: DOD-GOW (limited time only, please let me know when the code expires)
  • 150% bonus and 50 spins on the new slot Lil Red ($20 minimum deposit requirement), coupon code: LILRED150, or on the slot Hyperwins, bonus code: GETHYPED
  • Special Neosurf bonus, deposit using Neosurf and get a 200% welcome bonus (only once per player), promo code: 200-NEO

Playthrough requirements and wagering limitations

  • Players from the following countries do not qualify for any bonuses: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Hungary, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan.
  • Only one bonus can be active at a time.
  • Only real money players, who completed the registration are eligible for a bonus.
  • No deposit bonuses hold a maximum cash out limit which is 5x the bonus amount unless otherwise specified.
  • The deposit bonus amount must be wagered 60 times before withdrawal, unless otherwise stated.

Mr Bit Casino and Sportsbook

Mr. Bit casino & bookmaker, current 2022 bonus offers, welcome bonus, free spins and offers for returning players, 18+

  • 100% welcome bonus Up To €500 + 50 Free Spins
  • Free spins every day for returning players
  • 33% reload bonus for returning players

Playthrough requirements, wagering limitations, terms and conditions and list of restricted countries

  • welcome bonuses are only available for 30 days after account creation
  • the minimum deposit to receive any bonus is €10
  • the bonus + deposit needs to be wagered within 7 days from date of activation
  • Minimum deposit amount: €10
  • Maximum bonus amount: €500
  • Wagering requirements: x27 (deposit + bonus)
  • Participating slots: Jungle Jim and the Lost Sphinx
  • Bet per spin: €0,10
  • Wagering requirements: x30 (bonus)
  • Limit on withdrawing from the free spins: x10
  • 7 days for wagering
  • 7 days for wagering
  • Player from certain countries are not allowed use bonuses due to regular bonus abuse, check the casino’s website for the ever changing up to date list.
  • Please note that the free spins will appear on the account, once the 150% bonus has been wagered. Your players will get 10 free spins per day over the course of 5 days (50 free spins in total).
  • Australia
  • Curacao
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Malta
  • United Kingdom and its territories
  • United States
  • Ukraine
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary

Land-based casinos in Costa Rica

Legal status: legal, with a license from the Ministry of Public Security

Costa Rica is a Central American country spread out over about 50,000 square kilometres. Despite its relatively small size, Costa Rica is a very popular hub for casino gambling, and nightlife in general. Gambling conferences are also hosted regularly in Costa Rica, and casinos contribute greatly to the country’s significant revenues from tourism.

Costa Rica, due to the favourable taxes, the easy and cheap licensing process, and the pro-business, laissez-faire regulatory environment, has quite a lot of casinos, 30 in total (UPDATE 2021 COVID-19: down from about 35, before the pandemic). Which is quite a lot, considering that the country only has 5 million people. (For context, usually, similarly sized countries, with a limited potential for tourism, with normal taxation, actual gambling regulation and licensing, only have about 10 casinos, Costa Rica has 3x that much, but in the Caribbean, this is pretty much the norm).

Casino gambling is legal in Costa Rica, despite the fact that gambling is actually illegal (casinos are one of the many exceptions). But unlike online casinos, land-based casino gambling is a bit more regulated (but don’t get your hopes up…). The current main pieces of casino gambling legislation are the 2008 Reglemento de Casinos de Juegos, or as it is known in English, the Costa Rican Gambling Law*, and the 2012 Ley de Impuesto a Casinos y Empresas de enlace de llamadas a apuestas electrónicas, which is better known as the Costa Rica Casino Law**.

Most casinos in Costa Rica are located in or near the capital, San José (20 out of the 30 casinos). All of the Costa Rica casinos are on the smaller side (compared to US casinos, they are average compared to European casinos). They may only be open between 6 pm and 2 am UPDATE 2021: This no longer seems to be a requirement. And almost all gambling establishments are attached, or at the very least, can be found next to hotels, in areas frequented by tourists, and mostly cater to tourists and not locals (which is why a few of them closed down permanently due to the pandemic).

While casino gambling in general is legal in Costa Rica, regulation regarding specific games is somewhat confusing. There is a law against betting on games with a random outcome, but this prohibition is rather vague and seems to be ignored. Blackjack is missing in some casinos, though available in others. And where blackjack is not available, Rummy, a blackjack variant, with almost identical rules, seems to be available instead. Some casinos don’t have tables, and only have electronic tables and electronic gaming machines (and gambling takes place essentially online, to circumvent the ban, and utilize the island’s leniency when it comes to online gambling).

/Comment: The latter one is a really good solution btw., I would use this if I had a casino in the country, this way, you don’t have to deal with the chaotic regulations, just get the license from the Ministry of Security as well, pay the taxes, but have everything online, on a server abroad, just in case, with a Panama gambling licence, with servers in Panama. God knows what those politicians will come up with, a few years down the line. This will “futureproof” your casino business and that Panama license is also a data processing license, similarly cheap, and similarly barely regulated, lets you accept players from Costa Rica./

The largest casino in Costa Rica, however, is Fiesta Casino located in Alajuela. Fiesta casino offers about 300 gaming machines, as well as 14 table games including live roulette, Caribbean stud, craps.

Can locals visit the casinos Costa Rica?

Yes, unlike in many small countries, locals are not banned from the casinos.

Casino licensing and regulatory body of Costa Rica: If you wish to set up a casino you have to get a license from the Ministry of Public Security for tables and gaming machines (slots+electronic bingo+video poker). There is no info about licensing fees anywhere, if you know anything, please share it in the comments section at the bottom.

Free advertisement for licensed local lawyers, law firms from this country

Get featured on this website, here, just right under the taxation section. Advertise your services, get a link to your own website, or the law firm’s website you work for, on a page that is visited by businessmen, company representatives looking for help with: setting up a gambling business, licensing, setting up a company, help with an existing gambling business, consulting etc. And all this for free. Click on the drop down section if you are interested and want to get listed.

How to get featured

  • send me a link to your website, or your employer’s website
  • send me 1-2 sentences about you and/or your business etc. something that describes the business, what you do, something that makes potential clients interested
  • send me one single picture of your company’s logo, or a picture of your office, or one of your certificates, credentials which you are proud of etc. (but don’t send a picture of yourself, for legal reasons I want to avoid uploading pictures of people)

Taxation of casinos in Costa Rica: According to the 2012 Ley de Impuesto a Casinos y Empresas de enlace de llamadas a apuestas electrónicas (translated using an automatic translation software, not an official translation, only available in Spanish online):

  • Ten percent (10%) of the net income of natural or legal persons originated in the operation of legally authorized casinos.
  • Sixty percent (60%) of a base salary for each of the gaming tables that, under the law, have been authorized by the Ministry of Public Security.
  • Ten percent (10%) of a base salary for each slot machine that works within the casinos and that has been authorized by the Ministry of Public Security.

I don’t know what ‘base salary’ could mean, that’s what the automatic translation software translated “de un salario base por cada” as. If you speak Spanish, and you know what this could be, please leave a comment. Thank you.

For the players, taxation of casino winnings in Costa Rica: not taxable, there was a proposal for a new 25% tax on big lottery prizes in 2020, but it was rejected

Free advertisement for local accountants, CPAs and accounting firms from this country

Get featured on this website, here, just right under the taxation section. Advertise your services, get a link to your own website, or the accounting firm’s website you work for, on a page that is visited by gamblers looking for help with their gambling winnings, and gambling companies looking for consultants and help with their projects. And all this for free. Click on the drop down section if you are interested and want to get listed.

How to get featured

  • send me a link to your website, or your employer’s website
  • send me 1-2 sentences about you and/or your business etc. something that describes the business, what you do, something that makes potential clients interested
  • send me one single picture of your company’s logo, or a picture of your office, or one of your certificates, credentials which you are proud of etc. (but don’t send a picture of yourself, for legal reasons I want to avoid uploading pictures of people)

Legal gambling age, age required to enter a casino in Costa Rica: 18+

Sources, main pieces of casino gambling legislation:

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