The government of Costa Rica has decreed that 24-hour casino opening times will remain unchanged until next May 1 at least. Therefore the plan to limit gaming operations to only open for eight hours each day, decreed in June 2008, has been postponed. The Casino Association of Costa Rica had objected strongly to the new measure and asked for the government to permit its members to remain open for sixteen hours or around 2,000 jobs would be lost.
The new decree, published in La Gaceta, states that the government recognises the threats to the sector and promises to adopt the necessary measures to protect the security of Costa Rican workers. The Minister for Tourism, Carlos Ricardo Benavides said that definitive opening hours for casinos would be decided after a study by the Ministry of Work had been completed.
At the same time Benavides denied that 24-hour opening was likely to continue on a permanent basis and said between 8 and 16 hours was more probable. He added that apart from the postponement of shorter opening hours all other aspects of the June 2008 decree remained law. This includes the ban on serving alcohol to players and the requirement for casino licences to remain with the hotel ownership. (E-03.17.09)
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