Gambling in Costa Rica
All types of gambling is legal in Costa Rica. Though according to most casinos, Blackjack is illegal in the country, so, they offer a variant called Runny instead.
The country’s most popular betting activity is the national lottery. Horse and dogs races are legal to bet on, but citizens don’t show a big interest in pari-mutuel wagering. The country’s last race track closed down in 1995. Hundreds of gambling venues are set up across the country, with about 50 casinos among them.
Costa Rica is a hot spot for tourists, so, much of the country's casino gambling industry today caters to tourists, but the lottery and sports gambling sectors serve the local community.
Gambling laws in Costa Rica have been very relaxed for a long time, but during the past decade, the government has begun to make changes. In 2002 casinos were obliged to pay an emergency tax package. In 2006 a new gaming law restricted opening hours – from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The current government is thinking about increasing taxation up to 15% per year, with a 0.5% annual fee on both land based casinos and Internet gambling sites operating in the country. Among other innovations-to-be is a new law saying that a casino does not have to be attached to a hotel anymore. All these rules are under consideration now.
Online Gambling in Costa Rica
Online gambling is also legal in Costa Rica. In fact, during the mid 1990s the country's gambling laws were very vague and some of the first online gambling sites in the world were set up here.