San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Sportsbooks Faced U.S. Crackdown

A U.S. law gave U.S. authorities more teeth against online gambling enterprises this year as they went after illegal gambling enterprises abroad, including Costa Rica.

The actions by U.S. legislators and authorities sent ripple effects through Costa Rica, where some 200 call centers employ thousands of bilingual Costa Ricans.

Betonsports executive David Carruthers was arrested in the United States in July, prompting the closure of the London-based company’s Costa Rican call center, which meant 1,200 layoffs in San José.

In September, Peter Dicks, chairman of London-based Sportingbet PLC, an online sports betting operation with a call center in Costa Rica, was arrested in a U.S. airport.

The two high-profile arrests, among others, were followed by U.S. President George W. Bush’s signing into law in October legislation that restricts U.S. residents from making bets with online gambling sites.

The tech support company Digital Solutions, with offices in west San José, was indicted by the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in New York in November, as part of a staggering 27-person, threecompany indictment against a $3.3 billion international online gambling enterprise.


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