Costa Rican Authorities Suspend Lottery Amid COVID Outbreak

To stop the expansion of the region’s COVID-19 outbreak, Costa Rican authorities have suspended lottery operation within the country.

The move comes after the Social Protection Board’s (JPS) board of directors has approved a temporary subsidy of $342,000 per month. As a result, more than 1,900 vendors will now theoretically seek the financial assistance, with the only criterion needed to satisfy the criteria is that the lottery sellers must be involved in the scheme.

JPS president Esmeralda Britton has said: “We understand that shutting down operations for two weeks affects their finances, and in the context of this emergency we can’t leave these people without income.”

The subsidy is funded with JPS capital and will take effect on April 3. The board has decided that vendors will receive money until June when appropriate.

On March 24 the JPS had suspended lottery drawings and reported a loss of $8.5 m. These will also contribute $1.02 million to the National Emergency Commission (CNE) to help curb the virus spread.

Britton added: “The Board of Directors has authorised the use of resources to help with the COVID-19 crisis and 600 million will be contributed to the CNE. We want to protect the health of our workers, so initially we also estimate more than 5 billion in losses.”

Costa Rica reported 19 new cases of coronavirus over the weekend bringing its total of up to 314 infected with two fatalities, according to official World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates.