• PC HR 2038 passed both in the House and the Senate.
  • The bill will allow for online and retail sports betting.
  • The government is hoping to use funds to assist with hurricane recovery.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Puerto Rico passed a sports betting bill in both the House and Senate last week.

What To Expect From Puerto Rico Sports Betting

The Senate and House passed PC HR 2038 to allow for online and retail sports betting. The bill passed as is in the House, but the Senate added amendments to it.

The main amendment that passed was to establish a gaming commission. It is called the “Law of the Gaming Commission of the Government of Puerto Rico.” This commission will set all the policies on betting on sports in Puerto Rico.

The Commission will decide who will be able to receive a sports betting license. No one will automatically be able to receive a license. The Commission will look at each location individually to determine if they can offer sports betting. Each location must have a business plan and follow all health and safety measures.

But there are locations that will not have the ability to offer sports betting. Grocery stores and gas stations cannot open a sportsbook. Sportsbooks cannot open within 100 meters of a rehab site, a school, or a religious site.

Sports betting is not the only form of gambling that will be legal in Puerto Rico. This bill will also allow for players in the territory to bet on eSports as well. Puerto Rico will be the first US territory that will allow eSports betting. On top of this, fantasy sports will also become legal in Puerto Rico.

Sports Betting For Relief

The tax rate for Puerto Rico sports betting is now set. Retail will have a seven percent tax rate on sports betting revenue and online will have a 12% tax rate. Governor Ricardo Rosselló knows exactly where the sports betting revenue will go.

“Our administration is committed to new and creative ways to improve the lives of all Puerto Ricans. Especially as we continue our reconstruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” said Rosselló.

The Innovation Group estimates that Puerto Rico will receive $29 million from sports betting in 2020. Although that might be a bit high, gambling is very popular in Puerto Rico. Horse racing, casinos, and even cockfighting are legal in Puerto Rico.

Governor Rosselló is hoping that sports wagering will help with hurricane relief for the island. Rosselló is likely to sign the bill. He wants to bring in as much revenue as he can to speed up the hurricane recovery process. If he signs the bill, Puerto Rico could have active sports betting by the end of the year.

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