New casino legislation was one of the principal promises made by the ex-Justice minister, now Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, when she was in full electoral campaign. The new casino legislation was promised as the engine to generate income from taxation to fund much needed national security programmes in the country, and would include levies to all gaming operations especially remote and online companies operating the so called “call-centers”, that for decades have had Costa Rica as a business base.
New gaming legislation projects have been mired in commissions who seem to seek new interpretations to the meaning of gaming and life, as Chinchilla’s political allies fret and posture for celebrity status instead of dealing with diligence to bring about the gaming legislation changes that Costa Rica needs. As never ending discussions on the Project 17551 called Regulation Act of Betting, Casinos and Gaming to control on and off line operations in Costa Rica continue to mesmerize Chinchilla’s ministers and legislators, the Finance Commission approved early in November a consolation change on tax to gaming houses of US $300 to gaming tables operating up to ten hours and US $500 when they exceed this time. And still nothing about a “call-center” gaming levy.
Last June, the Fracción del Partido Liberación Nacional (FPLN), proposed Gaming legislation changes to the Exchequer Commission expressly vetting electoral campaign contributions from “gaming licence holders to political parties whether direct or through another means for use as political candidates”. The FPLN proposal also included a yearly tax to ‘call-centers” at US $250,000, and monthly tax to each gaming table of US $300 and slot machine at US $150.
However, Chinchilla’s government officials and political allies have turned procrastination into a habit when dealing with the new gaming law in Costa Rica, where all that is needed is the political will to expedite this necessary piece of legislation. A far cry from the heady days on the jousting, when the security of the country was a promise and a priority for the ex-Minister of Justice on her way to the presidential chair. President Chinchilla just needs to impose her much vaunted will to put her minister and allies in line and gets this much needed gaming law into being. (E-11.21.11)
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