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Costa Rican Casino and Card Room Gaming

Costa Rica implemented casino regulations in 1886, 1922 and 2008. Owners wishing to operate a casino typically create a corporation that is set up to manage their casinos. Casinos must be accredited and approved by the Costa Rica Tourist Board, located in a hotel rated four stars or above, and located at least 100 meters from places of worship, hospitals, clinics and schools.

Roulette and gambling machines are prohibited by law; however, an appeal was filed against the gambling machine decree and until the appeal is considered, casinos are allowed to host gambling machines.

Because it is technically against the law to collect or pay monies for bets of gambling games in Costa Rica, casinos encourage gamblers to purchase tokens or open a credit line by signing letters of credit, mortgages, promissory notes or written agreements. This protects the installments by regular business laws and not gambling laws.

In April 2005, the Casino Committee of Costa Rica proposed a number of changes to the gaming law in the country. The changes included prohibiting casinos from serving free alcohol, requiring casinos and slot machines to be certified by the National Gaming Board, changing 24-hour operations to 6 p.m. - 6 a.m., imposing minimum age restrictions, and mandating payback of at least 85%. These changes were made into law in April 2008 and went into effect in July 2008.

In June 2012, the Costa Rican government amended the casino law to ban existing casinos from three-star hotels and only allow them to be located in four-star rated properties.

Costa Rican Casino and Card Room Gaming Properties

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