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Costa Rica's Support of Online Gambling

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by SKUNX, Jun 23, 2007.

    Jun 23, 2007
  1. SKUNX

    SKUNX Banned User

    Occupation:
    Sales
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    Costa Rica's Support of Online Gambling Industry Something Long Awaited
    For years online gambling operations, primarily sports betting businesses, have thrived in the Central American enclave of Costa Rica and as a result that nation has gained significant wealth.

    It is no secret that top ranking government officials children have worked at Internet gambling establishments. Anybody who has visited Office Central Sabana Sur will see that the sports betting businesses with their massive visible satellite dishes sit right beside government buildings and have always peacefully coincided with one another.

    One of the first complexes to house betting businesses is owned by a government official. Prior to 1997, the office building could not attract enough occupants. Post 1997, nearly every floor was filled with Internet gambling establishments the likes of Sportingbet USA, BetonSports, Betmaker.com and Sportbet - just to name a few. Most would eventually outgrow this facility.

    But the Costa Rican government has always taken a "hands off" approach to its burgeoning industry. For operators, the perception turned to one of "lack of support". Many feared that the Costa Rican government would eventually bow down to US demands. The fear was such that some of the industry's biggest players - BetUS.com and Bodog.com in particular - have since downsized their based in Costa Rica. Even one of online gambling's biggest employers, Bookmaker.com (and its parent company, BetCRIS) have had to deal with unannounced "Immigration" visits.

    Last year, dozens of Costa Rican police descended upon the home of Bodog.com founder Calvin Ayre in the midst of filming a poker reality show. The production itself translated into hundreds of thousands of dollars for the local economy in the form of sold out hotel rooms, food and beverage sales and extensive free promotional content for Costa Rica itself. This "raid" came as a result of concern over an "illegal poker venue" even though there was absolutely no money being exchanged on the property charges were never filed against Ayre or those involved with the production.

    This incident fueled concerns over Costa Rica's potential role in aiding the US and ridding itself of online gaming figures. The closure of BetonSports also cast a bad shadow over the industry since a rather large percentage of employees were never paid their severances.

    Online gambling has played such a major role in this Central American nation that even tourists who visit San Jose proper are likely to rub elbows with industry employees and operators during their visit. It is not unusual for someone who has never gambled before to come back from Costa Rica and announce that they were "drinking with folks who are in the Internet betting business".

    With the laissez faire attitude of Costa Rican officials over the years, it may have come as quite a surprise to some that they would be jumping on the bandwagon of those seeking compensation from the US as a result of the super power's stance on Internet gambling, specifically its declaration of illegality.

    Costa Rica joins the likes of Japan, India, Antigua and the European Union. Costa Rica filed its complaint with the WTO Thursday afternoon according to Gambling911.com sources.

    "And so, today, what is expected to become a parade of countries demanding sanctions against the United States as a result of its refusal to comply with WTO rulings on gambling services began to form, as Japan and India piled it on with more demands for compensation," Burke Hansen of The Register points out. "Every other signatory affected will have a right to demand sanctions, and those sanctions may, depending on the circumstances, be applied against any American industry, from automobiles to semiconductors."

    Costa Rica's decision to file is significant on a number of fronts. In addition to providing support to the online gambling industry, Costa Rica is one of the few Central American nations dependent on the US for trade. Other Latin American nations may soon follow suit.

    Most industry experts believe that the US can ill-afford to sit on the sidelines any longer and ignore what is transpiring here unless "deeper isolation" in the world community is the ultimate goal.

    ----

    Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com

    Originally published June 21, 2007 9:44 pm ET
     
    7 people like this.
  2. Jun 25, 2007
  3. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    If Costa Rica wants to be a serious player they need to take a more proactive approach to PLAYER protection. Currently, being based there conveys an image that the gaming site is likely to be rogue, and indeed most of the biggest rogue operations have their base in Costa Rica.

    If Costa Rica provided proper regulation, and became "respectable" in the eyes of players, their economy would gain even more, and this might be at the expense of other small states, such as Kawanake and Antigua. They would be well placed should the US reverse the UIGEA due to this increasing pressure, but fail to offer proper regulation for gaming to be conducted from US soil.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Jun 25, 2007
  5. lots0

    lots0 Banned User - troll posts - flaming PABnonaccred

    Occupation:
    I do nothing productive
    Location:
    Hell on Earth
    Source:You must register/login in order to see the link.

    LOL... I just gotta say it.... "I told you so"...:D

    So it looks like Antigua is soon going to be the place to start looking for great legal deals on US copyrighted material, Like Software, Music and Videos...
     
  6. Jun 25, 2007
  7. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    This should at least get Microsoft's attention.

    It also offers a base to restart those old "Napster" models that were closed down by the US authorities with the help of a global agreement giving them no way to host a central server index.

    The last one of these to go was WinMX, it survived so long because it was decentralised, but behind the scenes it needed a master node index, and this is what finally crippled it - as when this server was taken out, the whole WinMX P2P network could not connect it's user nodes to each other.
    Those that survive are not as good, mainly due to far less content. Bittorrent is now a target for shutting down, but a swift move to Antigua should help it survive.

    These are the two industries most likely to kick up a fuss about loss of protection, but the big drug companies could also be hit in due course, with Antigua and Barbuda acting as a "first world" clearing house for cheap generics available from the likes of China and Africa, including those sold cheap to the third world because the drug companies don't want to be seen letting poor people die through lack of affordable treatment. They are annoyed enough at Canadian drugs (of the medicinal variety!) being imported into the US.
    More tangible patents should be safe, as outside of Antigua and Barbuda, the protection will still exist.
     
  8. Jun 25, 2007
  9. lots0

    lots0 Banned User - troll posts - flaming PABnonaccred

    Occupation:
    I do nothing productive
    Location:
    Hell on Earth
    Funny you should say that. Before I saw the news this morning, I got a call about setting up a server in Antigua, the words "Napster Like" were thrown around and I cut the guy off... I wish I would have seen this news first... :oops:
     

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