Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
Legal News Financial News Casino Opening and Remodeling News Gaming Industry Executives Author Home Author Archives Search Articles Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Kevin Smith

Progress Report for Costa Rica

12 January 2001

A new association for gaming operators in Costa Rica is gaining slow and steady support, and its founder is still sending out the call to other operators.

"All of us together form a very strong industry," said Eduardo Agami, president of SBG Global and President of the newly formed association.

The new association, which has a board of directors but no charter as of yet, has come out in support of a move in the Caribbean country to start licensing the industry.

According to Agami, creating a licensing system will bring an immediate credibility factor to operators based in the small Central American country. Regulation is needed for the industry to move to the next level on the global scale. He feels by introducing regulations in Costa Rica more operators will move into the country instead of out of it.

The move would also be beneficial to the government of Costa Rica, as proceeds from licensing fees would increase the government's coffers.

Some operators in Costa Rica would like to keep the status quo, but Agami is confident that once a large cross section of the sector can get together, the whole industry will realize what needs to be done.

Agami has scheduled an open meeting for all Costa Rican operators on Jan. 25. He admitted he has a good idea of what will be said at the meeting, but it is an important step to a much bigger process.

"I am sure there will plenty there who will advocate keeping it unregulated," he said. "We will then have to open up the dialogue and convince them what needs to be done."

It will then be the task of Agami and other representatives from the association to meet with politicians and others in the government to try to reach a compromise.

The sticking point currently between operators and the government is the licensing fee for regulation. Before the holiday season a bill was introduced to set the licensing fee for online gaming operators at $120,000 a year. Agami admitted that much of the industry was against the price.

"No one was in agreement with that," he said. The bill was attached to a much larger bill which did not pass, but Agami said it was a sign for the association to step up its time frame for action.

"We used it (the bill failing) to our best advantage," he said. "Operators are starting to now say, 'yeah we need it, but how much will it cost me and will I be at the mercy of the government.'"

Agami said he has gotten good feedback from many of the sportsbooks, which operate out of Costa Rica. Others in the industry have taken a little less active approach to the new association.

"I compare it to ducking their head out for a peak to see what is going on and then sticking their head back in the ground," he said.

In the meantime Agami said the association will try to convince as many operators as possible to join the cause.

"The movement continues forward," he said. "The job is not done. We want to pull all of our forces together."

Operators in Costa Rica are encouraged to call Agami and let him know of their interest in the association. He can be reached at 506-440-3357. Operators should call Monday-Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m.

Progress Report for Costa Rica is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith