Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Costa Rica provides option for online gaming

Just like in 2008 and 2009, the CR Legislature met in late 2009 to vote on a law to regulate gaming and impose special taxes. No English translations exist of the bill, which is available here in Spanish http://twitdoc.com/c/r5xg5y

The workers of sportbook companies who employ thousands inside CR have a website http://www.empleadosapuestascr.com/ and Facebook page where they posted a call to sensible regulation of gaming which translation we quote below. "Sportsbooks" are call-centers in Costa Rica which hire thousands of Costa Ricans who take in calls for users of betting companies (not necessarily casinos or online gaming).

This legislation would affect mostly brick-and-mortar casinos, where Presidential candidates have made their concern about their relationship with sex tourism. The election in February of Laura Chinchilla has made restrictive regulation of casinos more likely although she has expressed her wishes of not endangering true tourism.

Online gaming have less of a negative effect since they have no physical location. As of now, Costa Rica companies are chartered to conduct online gaming through websites outside of Costa Rica. According to gamingzion.com, "Online gambling in Costa Rica is completely legal. It is so legal, in fact, that the country is home to more than 200 internet gambling organizations. These groups run websites that are licensed and hosted out of Costa Rica, but the sites target players all around the globe. Unlike some other of the world's internet gambling hotspots however, Costa Rica's online gambling scene is quite lacking in government oversight. Licenses are quite easy to obtain, and regulation is basically non-existent".

This makes Costa Rica an option when compared to high licensing fees in Malta, Panama or Belize. However, shortcomings in the Costa Rica banking system means that bets placed through credit cards (such as U.S.-based Visa) may be routed through processors in places such as Cyprus and Israel. The existence of legal restrictions in the Costa Rica itself, U.S. and other countries mean that online gaming websites must install appropriate filters to exclude users from those jurisdictions.

Costa Rica companies are subject to payment of income tax on their local income. This means that companies which conduct online gaming from foreign websites are not required to pay Costa Rica income tax, but still have to pay the Education and Culture Stamp Tax ( Ley del timbre de educación y cultura, N° 5923 de 18 de agosto de 1976) and pay a resident agent fee for filing form D-110 of said tax based on the net capital of the company.

Costa Rica companies can be Corporations or Limited Liability Companies. Their formation can take around 2 months (unlike 1-3 days in Panama) and shareholder meetings must be written every year into hard-bound ledgers. Nominees may be appointed as directors or shareholders.

A few of our coworkers at several bet processing centers have requested us to post our pledge in English as they wish to support us and join our fight. Their jobs are also at risk but they understand that, in reality, the majority of the jobs in danger are from Costa Rican citizens.

Dear Colleagues,

We urge the Congressmen and Government of Costa Rica to make a detailed review of the Regulation Law for Gambling and Casinos.

As employees of the SportsBooks we propose:
  • Creating a law that would regulate the sportsbooks in a different way than land based Casinos.
  • Reasonable fees or operating licenses rather than miscalculated taxes.
  • Consider the Laws of other countries like Panama and Antigua as a base to make a new local rule.
The approval of this Bill, in its current 17, 551 way, will irreversibly cause the exit of the sportsbooks from Costa Rica and, therefore, the lost of thousands of jobs.

Learn more, Participate, and comment on www.empleadosapuestascr.com

We need your support!

Costa Rica's President-Elect is a Good Bet for Online Gambling
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Costa Rica is a country where gamblers of all denominations can feel right at home. Gambling is explicitly legal and proves to be a booming business within the country. The small nation is home to 30 large casinos and hundreds of other gambling establishments.

Costa Rican gambling law permits just about every form of gambling. Though the gambling industry seemed to be bounding on without limits, the government has started putting more energy into regulating it over the past few years.

Through gambling, the government has a great opportunity to raise revenue and through different regulations they can adjust their intake. Up until this point, the industry's only concern was whether or not the government will raise its taxes on gambling.

A new president, Laura Chinchilla, has been elected in Costa Rica, but has a few months before she will take office. President-Elect Chinchilla is the first woman to be elected president. Land-based casino operators are not happy with the President-Elect due to her open dislike of gambling facilities due to their unfortunate relationship with prostitution. Land-based casino can expect stricter rulings and regulations from this point on, through the new government.

Online gambling sites in Costa Rica, however, have nothing to worry about. President-Elect Chinchilla is highly supportive of the online gambling industry and all of the business that it brings to the nation.

Online Casinos in Costa Rica are obviously much cleaner than their land-based counterparts when it comes to prostitution due to the lack of a physical location. Many online gambling havens are based in Costa Rica and are accessed from all over the world. Brick and mortar casinos also cater to an international scene being that new laws require casinos to be attached to large hotels.
Source: Top10CostaRica.com

1 comment:

Reign Louie said...

The online gambling in Costa Rica sounds both good and bad. Good because we all know that online gambling is not permitted in other countries and they are fortunate about online gambling being legal in Costa Rica. Bad because is they are not that vigilant about giving license on those who want to established online gambling. What if an atrocious gambling site came into the net because of the lack of the government oversight, that would be unhealthy for online casino players.