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Mar
21st

What Does a Costa Rican Gaming License Mean ?

For online bingo players choosing a reputable site is extremely important. For American online bingo players it is extremely important because American players are forced to play at offshore websites thanks to federal laws. It can be difficult for American players to make deposits and withdrawals. Most British and European bingo sites ban players from the United States although there are a few exceptions. Just about any bingo site licensed in the European Union is safe but what about other licensing jurisdictions?

Many bingo sites claim they are licensed in Costa Rica. This is not the case because Costa Rica does not license online bingo or gaming sites. The claim is misleading and bingo sites operating from Costa Rica have been the subject of player complaints for years. There is no true gambling license in Costa Rica. Instead the government issues bingo companies a Data Processing Licence which is just a piece of paper that says the government has approved the holder to do business online. The license does not specify the nature of the online business. Many players have found out the hard way that there is no place to take unresolved complaints with bingo operators in Costa Rica. In the UK players can go to the Gambling Commission and all complaints are taken very seriously.

Players at sites ‘licensed’ in Costa Rica have few consumer protections. So why would a bingo operator set up shop in a country with such a shady reputation? A quick answer is that setting up a business in Costa Rica is inexpensive and government regulations are minimal. The country also offers low tax rates. Some gaming businesses operating from Costa Rica were not able to obtain licenses from reputable jurisdictions and move to Costa Rica because of the Wild West business atmosphere. There are no compliance procedures in place in Costa Rica. Game software is not subject to the stringent testing that European jurisdictions demand.

When the average internet bingo player makes a deposit at a bingo site they expect fair games and the ability to claim winnings and make withdrawals. Watchdog sites like Casinomeister are full of complaints about sites ‘licensed’ in Costa Rica and other Central American and Caribbean countries. Players that want a full range of consumer protections should look for sites licensed in the EU that still accept American players. Most gaming experts believe that internet gaming will be legal in the US in the near future and when that happens American players will enjoy the same protections as players in the UK and Europe.