If you’re wondering why so many European states are introducing regulation and taxation schemes these days, you need only consider the situation with online gambling in Costa Rica to understand; a recent report on the Latin American gambling market hints that the country’s extremely liberal online gaming laws could help make it a regional economic powerhouse very soon.
While the region is generally doing amazingly well financially despite the worldwide financial crisis – as the report from Juniper Research indicates that the 33 nations comprising the region will see 4% economic growth in 2010 – Costa Rica is positively cleaning up thanks to its healthy online gambling industry.
The nine countries of Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Panama support a gambling market worth over $33 billion combined, and Costa Rica is pulling in an incredible 44% percent of this figure, at $14.5 billion generated in 2009. The report estimates that gambling activities in the entire region could be worth $150 billion per year, and that “in 10 years, the whole region’s external debt could be paid with the money generated from gaming and gambling industry.”
Also key to providers of online casinos in Costa Rica is the newfound internet and cell phone penetration in the country. The latter saw an incredible 30% increase in the region year-on-year in 2009 and over 80% of Costa Rica’s citizens now own a mobile phone.