Costa 'Mas' Rica?

25 October 2000
Operators of Internet gambling services based in Costa Rica may be facing a completely new licensing structure that is much more rigid than the virtually unregulated system currently in place. Legislation that would create a licensing and taxation structure for Net betting has been proposed, a scenario that could earn the government an estimated $4 million to $5 million annually. An online sportsbook license could cost as much as $150,000.

Liberation Deputy Rafael Arias told the Tico Times that operators would probably be charged sales and luxury taxes, along with a tax on the volume of bets the operators process. As it currently stands, Costa Rican Net gambling operators pay no taxes or social security fees to the government.

In addition, operators would probably have to finance an Interpol investigation proving they are not involved in money laundering. A complete accounting report would also be required from the operators.

Despite receiving support form Jorge Eduardo Sanchez, vice president of Congress and deputy for the controlling Social Christian Unity party, it's believed that debates over the bill could last several weeks. Additionally, both Arias and Sanchez are scheduled to observe gaming and regulations in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Should this Internet gambling bill proceed, it will be the third such gaming regulation legislation presented in the past few months, according to Tax News.