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Online Gambling Mecca of Costa Rica Makes Residency More Difficult

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Dec/30/2010
Costa Rica Immigration

Citing a serious “immigration problem”, the world’s biggest online gambling center, Costa Rica, has imposed stiffer residency requirements. In addition to criminalizing immigrant smuggling the Central American nation is now raising the financial requirements for legal residency and making it harder to get residency by marrying a Costa Rican.

Operators of online gambling establishments will often times marry local women, including prostitutes, as a means of getting their green cards.

Costa Ricans have complained that the influx of immigrants drives down already low wages and burden shaky social services.  In the case of operators, the opposite is true.  Over the past decade, Internet gambling businesses have provided higher-than-average salaries to local Costa Rican employees.  Often times, marketing and customer service positions are given to Americans who are better able to communicate with mostly US (English speaking) customers.  The new policies could ultimately affect these transplants.

While the influx of illegal’s into Costa Rica has mostly been tolerated throughout the years, an economic slump has people of the developing nation worried.

"Suddenly, you notice these guys on every street corner," said Salvador Gutiérrez in an interview with USA Today. Gutiérrez is an expert at the International Organization for Migration based in Geneva. "People start to think they're everywhere, that the country is being overrun."

Another immigrant told the paper that, in the past, many of the Nicaraguan illegals would have fled to the US, but stricter border controls and the drug wars have made Costa Rica much more enticing. 

One reader, commenting on the USA Today article, wrote:

In 2002, Pope John Paul II visited Mexico and preached to minions of impoverished followers that birth control violated Church law. Procreate freely and God will take care of everything.
Well, the U.S. and Costa Rica are reaping what religious ignorance has sown.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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