New laws have been passed in Costa Rica that will change the way that many of the casinos will be run and ultimately prevent new casinos being built in Costa Rica as casinos begin to limit their operations in line with these rules.
Casinos that plan to be built from new since these law changes will have to measure up as at least a 3 star resort with 60 rooms that are all offered complete services. The casino floor space also must not accommodate any more than 15 % of the hotels total floor space and cannot be accessible directly from the street.
Existing hotels with casinos and stand alone casinos must regulate their hours from 6pm until 2am from the current 24 hour operations many of them use right now. Many casinos in Costa Rica offer free alcohol to their customers however this must also come to a stop as well as restricting access for minors. The government has handed these businesses a 6 month deadline to bring these changes into effect.
The regulations have been brought in to prevent Costa Rica from becoming a gaming destination. The Costa Rican Tourism Minister, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, stated that there were other places in the world where the main attraction is gaming such as Las Vegas.
Some of the bigger casinos in Costa Rica that operate on a 24 hourly basis will be dramatically affected with many staff cutbacks expected.