Earthquake Rocks Online Gambling Haven of Costa Rica

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/08/2009
Costa Rica

A powerful 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Central American nation of Costa Rica Thursday, killing three children and injuring 300 others.  A number of buildings in and around the San Jose area suffered damage as a result of the quake.  Costa Rica is home to the largest community of online gambling businesses, many of which are sportsbooks.

The epicenter was 20 miles north of the capital city of San Jose, where most of the Internet gambling businesses operate from.

The earthquake took place at 1:21 pm (1921 GMT) and caused widespread panic in San Jose, with residents rushing out of shaking buildings.

Watch Video Of Earthquake in Costa Rica Here 

It was not immediately known whether there were service disruptions as most major online gambling businesses utilize hosting firms outside of the country.  Banking is also mostly conducted outside Costa Rica.

Two sisters were buried in a landslide triggered by the magnitude 6.1 tremor, centred some 35km (22 miles) north-west of the capital San Jose.  Another young girl was also killed.

Reports say the quake - which hit at 1321 (1921 GMT) - left several people injured in villages north of San Jose. At least 42 communities were hard hit, and evacuations in many were carried out into the evening.

The earthquake cut off electricity in parts of the capital and officials reported damage to roads and houses.

American Dan Whitlock said the earthquake was so strong that guests stumbled as they ran out of the hotel he was staying in.

"I was outside and all of a sudden I could see the whole building shaking," Reuters news agency quoted him as saying. "You could see the pool water moving like a tsunami."

Costa Rica is located on the Pacific Ring, which forms a belt of seismic activity along the edge of the Pacific Ocean.  The earthquake is the biggest felt in recent years. 

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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