Online Gambling Mecca Costa Rica Elects 1st Woman

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Laura Chinchilla Costa Rica

Laura Chinchilla has been elected the first woman President of Costa Rica.  That Central American nation is home to more online gambling websites than anywhere else on the planet.

Perhaps this is good news for the online gambling sector in Costa Rica, where fears over tax legislation and future criminalization are the norm.

The later pertains mostly to a US stance on Internet gambling.

In 2006, Costa Rica's largest online gambling establishment, BetOnSports, found itself indicted by US law enforcement.  It's then CEO David Carruthers was picked up while changing flights in the United States.  Costa Rica and the United States do have an extradition agreement.

At the time, Chinchilla was the Vice President and Justice Minister.

"If they're only accused of illegal gambling in the United States, then we can't proceed [with the extradition]," she said back then.

In Costa Rica, government buildings sit in the same park as some online betting establishments.  Family members of politicians often work for the Internet gambling sector, which is among the highest paying in the country.

Of her victory, the new President said: "I want to thank the pioneering women who years ago opened the doors of politics in Costa Rica," Laura Chinchilla said Sunday to flag-waving supporters in the capital, San Jose. "My government will be open to all Costa Ricans of good faith."

Christopher Costigan, Publisher


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