Costa Rica: Casino bank accounts will be closed if they do not provide financial statements by December 1

The General Superintendence of Financial Entities (SUGEF) of Costa Rica announced that casinos have until December 1, 2022, to file the corresponding financial reports. Otherwise, their bank accounts will be closed.

According to a Costa Rican newspaper The Nationofficial notice SGF-1784-2022, issued on August 31, has decided that companies in the gaming sector -as well as lenders, credit card issuers and pawnbrokers- must complete and file the registration with Sugef within three months, between October 1 and December 1.

The text specifies that “the Sugef will warn, for one time only, […] the taxable person who does not comply with the warning within the terms, deadlines and conditions required” and adds that “the Superintendency will adopt the act of suspension and after a period of three months from the entry into force of this condition” the Superintendency “will proceed to cancel the registration of the subject’s registration”.

The head of Sugef, Rocio Aguilar, pointed out that banks cannot provide their services to regulated entities that are not registered or whose registration has been suspended, canceled or revoked.

“The provision identifies the need to strengthen registration requirements in order to obtain greater commitment from regulated entities with regard to understanding and managing the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing,” he said.

“It is reminded and warned that […] their registration could be canceled, a final state in which the entities of the financial system are unable to provide their services”, said the superintendent.

It should be noted that compulsory registration with Sugef began in January 2019, as part of a process to strengthen the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The decree of the control body also orders banks, cooperatives, as well as financial and mutual companies to check that the customer qualified as a subject has his registration up to date; otherwise, it may reject or return funds to users, as well as close their accounts unilaterally.

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