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Deep Dive into Costa Rica’s Gaming Licensing

The first step for entrepreneurs intending to legalize gambling business-activities is to get a license. Permit allows online gaming industry operators to legally offer gambling to users, and purchase officially-approved soft-products for their platforms. Having a permit increases the level of customer’s confidence and total players number. There are plenty of countries with appealing and lucrative licensing basis for newcomers. Costa Rica is considered to be suchone. Next, we’ll look at key conditions and privileges of this space for launching gambling projects.

Our team is professionally-qualified experts in the field of launching and licensing commercial structures. We work in various industries and provide fully-covering consulting services. Our experts answer all your questions regarding gambling licenses in Costa Rica and other countries.

Introduction to Costa Rica Gaming Licensing 

Plenty of new virtual casinos are opened in Costa Rica annually. Operators choose this space because of the convenient and lucrative basis for launching a gamble business-project, and country’s liberal legislative standards. Since there isn’t separate special gaming license there, operators use a Data Processing permit to run their business-activities. By launching a firm there and getting that permit, operators may safely act and accept bets from players worldwide, except Costa Rica residents, and some other countries.

As we mentioned earlier, it’s possible to launch such a local firm, but it’s strictly prohibited to proffer such services to residents. Moreover, gamble platforms registered locally are prohibited from transacting through local banking establishments.

Launching virtual casinos in Costa Rica is perfect variant for entrepreneurs intending to get payments in crypto-currency. It’s because of next-mentioned: after registering a local gaming firm, you’ll be able to spread your services anywhere worldwide, and get payments in bitcoin and other cryptos. It’s a huge plus for operators, because the more payment methods are presented on the web-site, the more potential customers they might attract.

Process and Rules for Getting a Gaming License

As we’ve mentioned, operators need permission of a slightly different order for gambling business-activities. Data Processing permit is provided by local municipality, and to apply, businesspersons need to possess a legal address, and provide some KYC-documentation. This state doesn’t require next-mentioned:

  • no need to draw up a business-plan;
  • there aren’t requirements to form a profit plan;
  • no need to develop measures for gambling addiction prevention;
  • no norms or conditions regarding the soft;
  • no points for financial statements, banking accounts, etc.

No requirements regarding high initial capital. Nevertheless, to get a gaming license there, at least 25% of the issued initial capital need be paid in business-structure registration.

If entrepreneurs intend to operate in gamble niche, Costa Rica sets only one rule. Firm’s activities shouldn’t extend to the jurisdiction’s territory and its residents. It’s because local residents are prohibited from using services of online gaming industry operators. Restriction applies to the equipment needed for virtual operators: it must be physically located outside of this country.

Costa Rica offers a range of reliable and established hosting providers specifically tailored to the complex needs of the e-gaming sphere. Gambling licenses in Costa Rica may be provided after all mandatory standards and rules have been met. Local standards aren’t very high, but its quality hardly raises any complaints from users in other jurisdictions.

You’ll need to prepare next-mentioned documentation for founders:

  • notarized passport copies;
  • notarized paid utility bills for your place of permanent residence, issued no later than 2 months before application date;
  • biography/CV;
  • letter of recommendation from the banking establishment.

Sometimes, extra documentation may be required. Reviewing process for registering and licensing lasts 2-4 months.

After getting a permit, you’ll need two key banking services: a merchant account and a commercial banking account, convenient for gambling organizations.

Benefits and Challenges of Holding a Costa Rica Gaming License 

Key benefit of this space is next-mentioned: there isn’t need to formalize the status of a licensee; nevertheless, conducting these activities is possible with its officially-approved registration. There’s only one condition: companies operating in virtual gamble segment won’t accept bets from local citizens. List of other benefits includes next-mentioned:

  • sustained economical situation;
  • lack of control over business-activities of organizations;
  • opportunities to interact with EU partners;
  • lack of offshore status;
  • minimum rules and norms for entrepreneurs;
  • many years of expertise in this industry;
  • abilities to locate servers at your discretion;
  • low costs of doing business-activities as annual licensing fees are eliminated.

You should note that profits earned outside jurisdiction aren’t taxed. Soft doesn’t need to be certified, tested and submitted documentation to government agencies.

Some challenges for local gambling business-projects exist. Free attitude towards gambling doesn’t mean permissiveness. National Rules for Combating Illegal Circulation of Funds, Law on Transactions Appearing and May Be Unusual, Anti-Terrorism Global Regulations and KYC-Policies have been adopted and are in effect here; they need to be complied with by gamble organizations without exception. As part of its responsibilities, Local Regulatory Authorities monitor these business-structures and services to ensure they operate in full compliance with government standards and global regulations.


Compliance audits are implemented regularly. To ensure compliance with all local gambling laws, firms regularly conduct audits.

Future trends of Gaming Industry in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s approach to gamble regulations is relatively informal compared to other countries. Thus, the timing of setting up such businesses might be more flexible and vary depending on the complexity of establishing a local presence, registering an organization and ensuring compliance with local standards and rules. If we talk about future predictions and forecasts, local regulations aren’t intended to be modified. Nevertheless, governmental bodies aim to make this area more progressive and appealing to foreign investors.

Article’s author is Denys Chernyshov – founder and CEO of the globally-famous organization Eternity Law International.

Solomon Odunayo
Solomon Odunayo
Solomon is a trader, crypto enthusiast, and analyst with over four years of experience in the industry. He strongly believes that crypto assets and the blockchain will continue to gain prominence. At, he focuses on news, articles with deep analysis of blockchain projects, and technical analysis of crypto trading pairs.

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