Costa Rican Government will tax online gambling (update)

Proposals will likely not be well received by operators.

The on again - off again initiatives by the Costa Rica government to regulate and tax online gambling operators based in the country (see previous InfoPowa reports) appear to be hardening into action, with the Finance Ministry of recently elected president Laura Chinchilla (51) unveiling its draft plans, revised after protests by local operators.

The proposed legislation calls for the setting up of a Gambling Control Board for internet casinos and gaming which would be financed from a regulatory levy set at 0.5 percent per year based on gross income.

According to Tax-News, the regulator will issue licenses valid for up to six years and supported by punitive measures for non-compliance.

In addition, the proposal includes provision for a 15 percent tax on gross monthly income and a flat licensing fee of $50 000 per annum. It is envisaged that the new Gambling Control Board will be governed by a Supreme Council chaired by the Minister of the Interior and Police.

Local politicians claim that the tax revenues are urgently required to help fund the fight against the country's rising crime rates.

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