Costa Rica Could Tax Online GamblingPublished September 2, 2009 by OCR Editor
The Central American country of Costa Rica could be about to impose taxes on online gambling, if the country's finance ministry has its way.
Central American country status as a haven for online gambling companies could be under threat.
Local newspaper AM Costa Rica reported Friday that the finance ministry is about to present the bill to the country's legislature.
Ministry officials were quoted as saying they hope to raise up to $100 million a year in taxes from the measure.
However, that figure might be a little optimistic given all the talk about online casino operators leaving the country for more friendly shores.
"They (the Costa Rican government) need to understand our business and the consequences before passing such a law," said Mickey Richardson, CEO of BetCRIS.com, which is based in the country. "Hopefully nothing will happen. I think they would ask for our input and then we might be more supportive."
A tax on online gambling has been on the agenda for a while. In July the country's Tico Times newspaper reported that the finance ministry would be presenting a bill to the Legislative Assembly at the beginning of August to impose a 2 percent tax on the gambling, gaming and betting industry, but in the end the plans were delayed.
News agencies have made no mention of how high the newly proposed tax will be. The industry is currently completely unregulated.