Costa Rica to toughen its legislation to avoid the massive arrival of casinos

Costa Rica government named a high-level commission with the aim to revise the law that regulates casinos, made in 1922, and toughen the rules in order to avoid the massive arrival of gambling venues in the country.

The commission will be comprised by Ministers of Tourism, Carlos Benavides, Foreign Commerce, Marco Ruiz, and Justice, Laura Chinchilla, who will have 15 days to make a report to be presented to the government council.

Minister Ruiz affirmed in a press release: „This is the investment we do not want. We don’t want the country to be acknowledged as a casino international center. This is not the tourism we are looking for“.

The reaction of the Costa Rican government was produced two days after the local press informed that Storm International, the largest Russian casino company, announced in its Internet page that a USD 5 million investment was being held in a Costa Rican hotel.

„The country should not be considered a place in which casino investments are encouraged. We will make casinos comply with the most strict rules possible”, declared Ruiz. Nowadays, the casino operation in Costa Rica is regulated with a law from 1922, which could be modified if the high-level commission considers that it is necessary, commented the minister.

„There is a law that authorizes casinos and we should revise it to see our obligations within the international agreements and create a policy according to that”, added

The aim of the Costa Rican government will also have to be coordinated with the regional councils, because these are in charge of granting the casino operation according to the current legislation.

Tourism is the main source of the Costa Rican economy, with 1.9 billion tourists annually, mainly from US and Europe.