AM Costa Rica is reporting that the Costa Rican government is set to enter the bookmaker business, just in time for the 2010 World Cup.
From AM Costa Rica:
Steps were made Tuesday to set up a framework so Costa Ricans can bet on first- and second-division soccer games through the Junta de Protección Social, which already runs the state lotteries.
Casa Presidencial said that the gambling income would help finance the sports and allow the national teams that are far behind on their social security obligations to pay off the debt. Rodrigo Arias Sánchez, minister of the Presidencia, said that the project would mean more income for the Junta to spend on its many social programs.
Costa Rica is the biggest online gambling jurisdiction in the world. The public bookmaking project would not be competing with these businesses since most online sportsbooks operating in the country do not accept bets from residents.
According to AM Costa Rica, the meeting Tuesday was a surprise because there had been no public talk of the government expanding its role as the nation's bookmaker. President-elect Laura Chinchilla has been critical of casinos and is expected to crack down in some way on them when she takes office in just 17 days.
Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com