The COVID-19 pandemic has hit different industries, but football clubs are among those forced to seek relief measures in order to generate income during the quarantine. In Costa Rica, teams have already agreed to reduce footballers’ wages and have created a solidarity fund to assist those who have been affected.
While authorities discussed the possibility of hosting an all-star game and a new championship between the top two teams, they’re also considering the revival of the sports betting industry to generate money for football and other sports.
Fernando Ocampo, President of first division team Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, said that they’re interested in the legalization of sports betting in order to generate more revenue. According to CRHoy, the leader explained that Costa Rica doesn’t have any games related to predicting sports results.
“It’s time to be creative and consider proposals to generate resources for football and other sports,” he said. However, he alerted that it’s only a possibility and that they’re studying the industry. He revealed that in a few weeks they will have a clearer picture and “hopefully a proposal.”
Ocampo believes that sports betting can provide bigger support for other sports and that’s why they need a comprehensive implementation. “Football can help generate additional revenue for the National Olympic Committee and other sports,” he concluded.
In October 2019, the Executive President of the Costa Rican Social Protection Board (JPS) Esmeralda Britton said that she was evaluating sports betting options: “We understand that this is a small market, but before choosing it. But before we decide to legalize it, we need to go through a platform investment process that will allow us to enter the market in a proper way.”
This wouldn’t be the first time that Costa Rica legalizes the sports betting market, as it already offered such services through Pitazo and Progol, but “they did not have the expected level of profitability and therefore they were removed from the market.”
“I feel that at the time we weren’t prepared for sports betting, but today we know much more, the world has advanced a lot and we are in contact with other countries where this modality has already been implemented, such as Colombia or Argentina. We’re analyzing their strengths, their mistakes, to avoid those problems and choosing the most profitable model for us,” Britton had said.