Is Costa Rica a red flag?

T.W. Howdy

Dormant account
Apr 4, 2008
Midwestern US
I was doing some online research yesterday on a casino I might try, and came across a statement about operations located in Costa Rica being more likely to be disreputable. Then I saw a statement today in a post on this forum about an operation's relocation to Costa Rica being a red flag.

Can anyone elucidate? I noticed that several casinos accredited here on Casinomeister are located in Costa Rica, so they can't all be bad. Is Costa Rica a haven for rogues, and if so, why?


Aug 3, 2002
Las Vegas
There isn't really any type of regulation there. They aren't all bad in CR. The problem is that it is a bit of the Wild West. There are a bunch of decent sportsbooks there as well as some poker rooms and casinos. It just means you need to do a tremendous amount of research to have full trust because there is no recourse if you get screwed and there are certainly shady outfits there that will screw you.


RIP Brian
Feb 22, 2001
I agree with PA - Costa Rica operations are not all bad....however the history of disputes emanating from some of the operators there has not been encouraging, and the lack of real government interest and regulation has heretofor been a reason for caution.

Things are looking up, it seems. A recent report in Casinomeister News indicated that the government in CR is starting to make moves toward what will hopefully be a serious regulatory regime in the future.

Until that eventuates, I feel that it remains an area for caution and research into individual venues that a gambler might be considering.


Dormant account
Jul 24, 2006
is costa rica a red flag? not predominantly, but there is some red in it:


lol, i'm such a dork eh? :thumbsup:


Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Jun 30, 1998
Costa Rica can be a red flag of sorts.

The are no online gambling licenses in CR - when a company boasts of being licensed in CR, they are proud of their "business" license that allows them to do business on the Internet.

Real gambling licenses include background checks, statement on financial liquidity, etc.

When dealing with these casinos, you are at the mercy and whim of the operator since there is no real third party that can intervene if there is a problem. How important is a licensing agency? Well, that's open for debate. Most are overly bureaucratic and are extremely slow at dealing with player issues. Lots of talk - but do they walk the walk?

Most entities - from Netherland Antilles to the Isle of Man are set up for tax purposes - not player protection. Players receive protection as a "trickle down" effect - most companies that are willing to jump through the hoops and pay for these licenses are financially stable and well managed.

There are a few "CR" casinos listed in the accredited section. These casinos have a very good history of customer relations, I've met the operators, and some only have their servers there. The casinos are managed from the UK.


Dormant Account
Jun 16, 2005
The bottom line is that if you're faced with a choice of two seemingly equal casinos and one is in Costa Rica and the other is in a more regulated environment, you're best off taking the one with more regulation. Good operators in bad locations are tainted by proximity.