Last updated on: May 17th, 2022

Legal Sports Betting In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the friendlier countries in the world for online sports betting operators, and it offers a good variety of betting options for residents, visitors, and even for those living in other countries. Although land-based sports betting is not yet legal in Costa Rica, the country is widely considered to be one of the most progressive in terms of online legal sports betting. A number of major international online sportsbooks operate out of Costa Rica.

The most popular sports to bet on in Costa Rica are soccer, baseball, and American football. Costa Rican sportsbooks offer betting odds on numerous sports leagues and events, both in the country and all over the world. No matter what you wish to bet on, there’s a good chance you’ll find it at a Costa Rican sportsbook. This page will act as a comprehensive guide to legal sports betting in Costa Rica, from the laws governing sports betting to how Costa Rican sports betting revenue is applied, to the best sportsbooks to use for players in Costa Rica.

Legal Sports Betting In Costa Rica

Costa Rica Sports Betting Laws

Costa Rica is interesting in that land-based sports betting is fully illegal but its online sports betting laws are some of the most welcoming in the world. As a result, major online sportsbooks like Bovada and SportsBetting often base their operations in Costa Rica. It is also legal for players located in Costa Rica to bet online with sportsbooks based in other countries. Costa Rica’s stance on online sports betting is so firm that in 2012 Costa Rican courts overrode the U.S. government by refusing to investigate American bettors placing wagers with Bovada, citing national sovereignty. The brick-and-mortar sports betting omission is unfortunate, but overall Costa Rica has some of the most forgiving sports betting laws in the world.

Where To Bet On The Super Bowl In Costa Rico

With online sportsbooks readily available to players anywhere in Costa Rico, betting on the Super Bowl won’t be an issue. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events every year and online sportsbooks offer betting lines all year for the Big Game. It is extremely simple to log onto a book like Bovada and put down the best Super Bowl bet in Costa Rico. Whether you’re betting the favorite team to win the SB or even just exploring the betting line and player props for the Super Bowl, online sportsbooks allow you to make it happen, with live betting options as well.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Costa Rica?

Yes, online sports betting is fully legal. Players both from Costa Rica and from all over the world can legally bet on sports using Costa Rican sportsbooks. Costa Rica residents can also legally bet online with sportsbooks based in other countries as well. Popular betting options for online sports betting include live, in-play wagering, prop bets, money lines, and more. Even if you live outside Costa Rica, particularly in the U.S., betting with a Costa Rican sportsbook is not a prosecutable crime. The online sports betting industry in the country is thriving and only looks to be primed for more growth in the coming years.

Costa Rica Sports Betting Markets

Costa Rica is a small country, and it has only three cities with more than 50,000 residents:

  • San José
  • Puerto Limón
  • San Francisco

These three cities account for 450,000 of Costa Rica’s nearly 5 million people, and are the primary markets for online sports betting. In terms of actual sports leagues that Costa Ricans might choose to bet on, the most popular league in the country is Liga FPD, the top division of Costa Rican soccer. Costa Rica is still riding the high of its eight-place finish at the 2014 World Cup, and that has bolstered the popularity of the sport throughout the country. The country’s three top clubs are Deportivo Saprissa, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, and Club Sport Herediano, which have accounted for a combined 92 of Liga FPD’s 111 total championships. The two biggest provinces for sports betting by far are San José and Alajuela.

Where Costa Rica Sports Betting Revenue Goes

Another big incentive for sports betting operators in Costa Rica is that the country only taxes sports betting revenues at a rate of two percent—far below the rate of similar taxes in other countries and municipalities. This money goes toward a lump sum for the federal government of Costa Rica, where it is applied toward various budgetary needs. With few gamblers in the country and even fewer wealthy gamblers, revenues are predictably low for domestic sports betting. They are heavily supplemented, however, by gambling activity from players in other countries betting online with sportsbooks based in Costa Rica.

Legal Costa Rica Betting Sites

The most popular legal Costa Rica betting sites are legal throughout the world. They accept players from Costa Rica, from other Central American countries, and even from the United States. There are numerous legal betting sites in Costa Rica, but the best ones offer comprehensive 24/7 customer support, a wide selection of betting options, big deposit bonuses, and top-notch security for personal and financial data. Whether you are betting on a desktop computer or a mobile device, legal betting is always only a few clicks away in Costa Rica.

Bovada Sportsbook

Bovada – All US States Accepted –  Except NV, NJ, MD, NY, and DE

Sometimes players try to decide which is the better online sportsbooks to sign up for. There is no doubt that Bovada is to of the charts and has everything that all players need when it comes to placing wagers on their favorite teams and players. Coming with the prop bets that are offered come the bonuses that would help players get in other betting opportunities. This is where Bovada takes off as there is always new bonuses and promotions that will pop up all the time. So making sure you are 18 and older and signing up for one of the better online sportsbooks will not be a problem at all.

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Visit Bovada

Legal Sports Betting in Costa Rica FAQs

Why are so many sportsbooks based in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica offers very forgiving laws and favorable conditions for online sports betting operators. Sites like Bovada can base their operations in Costa Rica while still offering legal sports betting to bettors in dozens of other countries. In general, Central America and the Caribbean are a hotbed for the sports betting industry.

How does currency exchange work with Costa Rican sportsbooks?

The easiest way to manage money with Costa Rican sportsbooks is to use cryptocurrency, which is valid in every country and does not require currency exchange. Most such sportsbooks accept major global currencies like dollars and euros, but for more niche currencies, look at e-wallet services that come with built-in exchange software.  

Can you bet on sports in every province in Costa Rica?

Online sports betting is legal in all seven provinces of Costa Rica. Brick-and-mortar sports betting isn’t legal in any of them, but with the wide array of online sports betting options available throughout the country, that shouldn’t be a big concern. Mobile sports betting is likewise legal in all seven provinces.

Are tourists allowed to bet in Costa Rica?

All bettors who are at least 18 years old can legally bet online in Costa Rica. Additionally, 18-year-old bettors in many other countries can also legally bet with Costa Rican sportsbooks. Whether you are living in the country full-time or simply visiting for a few days or weeks, as long as you are on Costa Rican soil, Costa Rican law applies.

Why doesn’t Costa Rica have casino sports betting?

Historically, gambling has been illegal in Costa Rica, and that only began to change recently as the country adopted a laxer attitude toward online gambling. Laws are slowly changing, so brick-and-mortar sports betting could still be on the horizon, especially as Costa Rica looks for new ways to monetize the gambling industry.