Is Online Gambling Legal in Costa Rica?

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    The growth of the global online gambling industry is unstoppable. More people are discovering the fun that online casinos promise, and the opportunities available to win big. Yet some countries, stuck in the old age of strict gaming regulations, refuse to accept this.

    One such country whose online gambling laws are complex and contradictory is Costa Rica.

    As a result, most Costa Ricans and people interested in visiting or investing there do not know whether online gambling is legal or not. If you are looking to understand gambling in general, you can start at

    We will take a closer look to understand the current state of gambling in the Central-American country.

    The laws of Costa Rica do not allow its citizens to gamble online. Regulations do not allow people to engage in games of chance or place wagers on events. However, this law is easy to get around when the casino server location is different from the player’s location.

    For instance, someone in San Jose playing a casino game on a server located in a country where gambling is legal would not be illegal.

    Costa Rica has made a name for itself as the gambling capital of Central America over the past two decades. The government, though determined to regulate gambling among citizens, is open to investors. The state’s indecisiveness may be responsible for its failure to put in place a recognized gambling framework. Many gambling sites and sportsbooks have set up headquarters in San Jose.

    The Top Casinos and Sportsbooks Are In San Jose

    As a general rule, the minimum legal age to gamble in Costa Rica is 21 years. Anyone younger than this engaging in any form of gambling would be breaking the law.

    The gambling industry has transformed San Jose into one of the most envied tour destinations. At one point, Costa Rica was home to over 300 companies operating online casinos and sportsbooks worldwide. These companies could not resist the attraction of tax laws that favor gambling investors. As you would expect, most of the companies were headquartered in San Jose.

    Costa Ricans can, therefore, legally play casino games and gamble in casinos whose servers are located elsewhere. With this workaround, locals and gambling tourists can gamble in casinos registered in the country.

    Lotteries and Land Casinos

    If you are considering visiting Costa Rica, you will be glad to know it has great casinos in which you can gamble. Casinos are legal in Costa Rica for anyone aged 21 and older. The country has about 40 licensed casinos scattered all over the country. Most of these casinos are a part of hotel complexes

    Out of these, 18 are located in the capital of San Jose. The most popular offerings in these casinos are slot machines and blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Rummy card games.

    Gambling is a part of the fabric that makes Costa Rica a great country. The proof lies in the popularity of national lotteries held regularly on TV and Radio. These include:

    ● La Loteria Nacional (The National Lottery)

    ● Los Chances (The Popular Lottery)

    ● La Loteria Instantanea (The Instant Lottery)

    ● Lotto


    Despite its lack of a legal gambling structure, Costa Rica’s gambling laws do not limit players or casino investors. If you are outside Costa Rica but would like to play with a company registered in the country, it is perfectly legal to. This is if you are old enough, and gambling is legal in your country.

    Perhaps with time, the country will implement a clearer legal gambling framework. We hope that it will make it easier for players to have fun and win prizes with online casinos and sportsbooks.

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