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Costa Rica iGaming Jurisdiction

iGaming Jurisdictions - Costa Rica

Costa Rica is considered one of the most popular gaming jurisdictions in the world. With over 300 gambling websites registered with the country, they're among the leaders and often considered the center of internet gambling. Although, with their many registered gaming sites, Costa Rica doesn't have legislation dealing specifically with online gambling. The Costa Rican government takes the stance that having outside countries registered for a license can bet and participate in gambling legally, but for Costa Rica citizens, it is illegal to gamble.

Due to the lack of legislation and oversight for online gambling, companies based in or registered through Costa Rica are not subject to monitoring or other regulations that many offshore companies are. This also means that since there isn't a body to govern gambling, companies are self-regulated and aren't required to pay betting or gaming tax.

The Costa Rican government strictly prohibits any games of chance or luck. Although there are land-based casinos in the country, they must be approved by the Tourist Board of Costa Rica and must be located in a hotel rated three stars or higher. Most of the games you'll find are either skill based or not clearly defined by law. As such, technically, there's no such thing as a Costa Rica gaming license for offshore companies wishing to set up gaming corporations. Instead, the license is referred to as “data processing.”

In order to create a corporation in Costa Rica that will allow for licensing, it must deal in network administration or internet administration. All internet addresses from Costa Rica must be blocked from the server, since it is Costa Rica's strict policy that none of their citizens participate in online gambling. One must also create an offshore merchant account to deal with the transactions.

However, no data processing license is needed to legally operate an online gaming business from Costa Rica. The licenses procured by most companies are done so strictly to appear reputable to their clientele. Official licensing and adhering to regulations is standard operating procedure for online gaming venues in this highly competitive field.

Having a data processing license also helps corporations reach intended objectives without impediments along the way. To this end, most corporations set up in Costa Rica obtain a license. Licenses are only required for land-based operations; i.e. if the corporation has an office within the country.

In order to acquire a license, power of attorney authorizing Costa Rican staff to do the processing is needed. The price of a permanent license is $5,000 USD in legal fees, $500 for administrative and legal costs, $3,600 for yearly lease, and $5,000 for renewal at the end of the year. Temporary licenses are also available, costing similar amounts. Administrative and legal costs are $500, legal fees $5,000, yearly lease $1,200, and a $2,000 renewal fee at the end of the year.

Key Figures

  • Corporation Tax Rate: In Costa Rica, business tax legislation is currently based on the principle of territoriality meaning that all business income which has a foreign source is tax exempt. Only that proportion of business revenue earned within Costa Rica is subject to an assessment by the tax authorities.
  • Gaming Tax Rate: No additional taxes for such companies are applicable.
  • Minimum Share Capital for iGaming Company: There is no minimum share capital requirement, however at least 25% of the issued capital must be paid up on incorporation.
  • Security Requirements / Indemnity for Player Deposits: None
  • Licence Fee: None
  • Licence Length: Not applicable
  • Software Testing Requirements: No
  • Reporting Requirements to Regulators: No
  • Anti-Money Laundering Policy: No special or additional rules apply. Standard good business practices apply to all companies.
  • Country Restrictions: No wagers may be taken within Costa Rica from Costa Ricans

Contact Details

No specific gaming department or regulator exists.


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