Gambling License in Costa Rica

Gambling License in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, with its beautiful scenery, rich culture and warm climate, attracts not only tourists, but also entrepreneurs from the gambling industry. Casino licensing in this country represents a unique opportunity for international operators to enter the Latin American gambling market. In this article we will look at the casino licensing process in Costa Rica, the peculiarities of this jurisdiction and the advantages it can offer gambling companies.

An overview of the Costa Rican gambling industry

Historical Overview of Gambling Regulation Gambling in Costa Rica has a long history, beginning with the legalization of various forms of gambling in the mid-20th century. In the 1980s, the government began to actively develop the gambling sector, attracting foreign investment and creating the conditions for casinos and slot machine halls to open.
Current structure of the gambling industry Today, Costa Rica’s gambling industry includes several types of casinos, slot machine halls, online gambling and lotteries. The country has become a popular destination for online casinos due to its favorable business environment and low tax rates.
Number of active licenses and distribution There are more than 40 licensed casinos and slot machine halls in Costa Rica, as well as about 100 online casinos. The licenses are distributed between casinos, slot machine halls and betting shops.
Key players in the market Key players in the market include companies such as Grand Casino Escazú, Fiesta Casino and online platforms such as Betcris and 5Dimes. These companies play a significant role in the development of the country’s gambling industry.

Legal structure

Basic Laws and Regulations The main laws governing gambling in Costa Rica include the Gambling Law (Ley de Juegos de Azar) and various government regulations. These laws set the rules for all types of gambling, including online gambling.
Role of the Costa Rica Gaming Board (JCDR) The Costa Rica Gaming Board (Juego de Costa Rica, JCDR) is responsible for licensing and supervising gambling activities. The JCDR monitors the compliance of casinos and other gambling establishments with legal requirements.

The main requirements for licensing are

  • Financial solvency: Licensees must demonstrate financial stability and the ability to meet their obligations.
  • Business reputation: Requires proof of good business reputation, no ties to criminal structures.
  • Origin of funds: Licensees must provide information on the origin of capital.
  • Prevention of Money Laundering: Strict anti-money laundering regulations.
  • Technical Standards and Security: Compliance with modern technical standards and security requirements.
  • Responsible Gaming: Measures to protect players and promote responsible gaming.

Types of gambling licenses

  1. Class A license: Casino A class A license is for full-fledged casinos. Requirements include large investments, strict financial soundness checks and technical equipment. The license is valid for 5 years.
  2. Class B License: Slot Machine Halls This license is issued for slot machine halls. The requirements are less stringent than the Class A license, but also include financial stability checks and technical standards. The validity period is 3 years.
  3. Class C license: Bookmakers and Lotteries The Class C license covers bookmakers and lotteries. Requirements include a business reputation check and compliance with security standards. The validity period is 3 years.
  4. Class A licenses are more expensive and require more documents and inspections. Class B and C licenses are less expensive, but also require a significant investment and compliance with certain standards.

Advantages of a gambling license in Costa Rica

Developed and regulated market The license provides access to a developed and regulated market, which increases the confidence of players and partners.
Low taxes Tax rates in Costa Rica are significantly lower than in most other jurisdictions, reducing operating costs.
No physical office requirements Unlike many other countries, there is no mandatory requirement to have a physical office in Costa Rica.
Quick and easy license process The process of obtaining a license is relatively simple and quick, allowing operations to begin quickly.
Ability to accept players from all over the world Costa Rica offers the opportunity to operate internationally, attracting players from different countries.

The process of obtaining a gambling license

Selecting the type of license The first step is to select the appropriate type of license depending on the planned activity.
Preparation of documents All necessary documents should be prepared, including financial statements, proof of business reputation and information on the origin of funds.
Payment of the state fee The state fee for the application should be paid.
Security Check JCDR conducts a security check on the applicant, including financial and criminal history.
Receipt of authorization from JCDR After successful completion of the background check, the applicant will receive authorization to conduct gambling activities.
Compliance with technical standards It is necessary to ensure that the technical standards and safety requirements set by the JCDR are met.
Assistance from lawyers and consultants It is recommended to seek assistance from experienced lawyers and consultants specializing in the gambling industry.

Timeline and Costs

Approximate timelines and costs The process of obtaining a license takes several months to a year depending on the type of license and the complexity of the application. Costs vary depending on the type of license and may include government fees, lawyers and consultants.

License Costs

  1. Class A License: The cost of a Class A license is approximately $50,000 to $100,000, including initial installation and operating costs. The annual license renewal fee is approximately $25,000 – $50,000.
  2. Class B License: The cost of a Class B license ranges from $20,000 to $50,000. The annual license renewal fee is $10,000 to $20,000.
  3. Class C license: A Class C license costs approximately $10,000 – $30,000. The annual license renewal fee is $5,000 to $15,000.
    Additional Costs Additional costs include legal and consulting services, the cost of which may vary depending on the complexity of the application and the reputation of the firm.

Compliance and Current Requirements

Licensee Responsibilities Licensees are required to maintain records, conduct audits, comply with anti-money laundering regulations, and provide player protection.
Consequences of non-compliance Non-compliance may result in fines, license suspension or revocation.

Future of the Costa Rican Gaming Industry

Trends and Changes Potential changes in gambling regulation may include the introduction of new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, which will impact the industry.
Growth Prospects The Costa Rican gambling market is expected to continue to grow, attracting new players and investment due to the favorable business environment.


Highlights Casino licensing in Costa Rica offers numerous benefits including access to a developed market, low taxes and a simple license process.
Jurisdictional Attractiveness Costa Rica remains an attractive jurisdiction to obtain a gaming license due to its favorable conditions and growth prospects for the gaming market.

Share your commentary