If Costa Rica Tries to Tax Gambling Internet Sites, Will The Operators Flee?

peterchristopher's picture

There has been some press over the past several weeks that online gambling sites based in Costa Rica are the subject of possible legislation.  Of course, they should be paying taxes somewhere at least, don't you think!  Would they really leave?  One guy says they might leave for Panama, just as the UK's gambling operations are leaving for Gibraltar.

I'm surprised in any case at the scope of this issue - are there really 10,000 people employed in Costa Rica's online gambling industry?

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Gambling Industry CR

Unless the government finds a good way of first legalizing and providing banking structure for the gambling companies in Costa Rica most of them will probably leave . I've worked in sportsbooks and most of them would be happy to be taxed as long as they are provided with all the means to legally operate in Costa Rica, if the Chinchilla govt is planning of only taxing without giving anything back 99% of the operations will flee. Plus the tax proposal is based on deposits and not actual earnings which would be impossible to control if all the money is being deposited somewhere else and never touches a Costa Rica bank.

so it's true...

Wow, it's for real!  I'd hardly believe it myself, except I'm somewhat ashamed to say that right now I'm currently doing a 3-day computer gig for a gambling site!  There must be a lot of people throwing their cash down the toilet in this way.

Gambling

 When living in a condo complex in  Escazú, we were surrounded by mostly gambling reps.

Our complex contained 22 units and only two tenants were not involved with gambling. Many of the surrounding buildings also housed reps. 

Those that we knew accounted for 7 different companies, many which had over 100 employees. 

Maybe 10k is not far off.

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