- Puerto Rico could see a legal sports betting market launched sometime in 2021.
- Estimates show that the Puerto Rican economy could make as high as $68 million in annual revenue from the sports wagering industry.
SAN JUAN – It’s been over a year since sports betting in Puerto Rico became legal and they are now finally moving forward with implementing it.
Gambling on sports was legalized by former Governor Rico Rosselló Nevares in July of 2019 prior to his resignation due to scandalous messages that surfaced at the time. After his resignation, sports betting was put on the backburner as Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced took over the position.
The Director of Gambling for Puerto Rico’s Tourism Board, Jaime Alex Irizarry, turned in his resignation in April, making all of his initial work on setting up a regulated industry for sports betting irrelevant and leaving Puerto Rico to have to start from square one again.
José Balasquide-Córdova and Cristóbal Méndez were both hired by Garced to develop a new gambling structure. Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) worked with the team for a 30 day period in May to consult on sports betting regulations that would work for the Puerto Rican sports betting industry.
What The Landscape For Puerto Rican Sports Betting Could Look Like
The regulations that Puerto Rico has come up with for their sports wagering market are very much an all-encompassing kind and lax in terms of what will be offered to sports bettors.
There will be both retail and mobile sportsbooks available. Retail sports betting establishments can be opened in casinos, at hotels, racetracks, stores, and wherever else the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission (PRGC) approves to be a safe place to open a sportsbook. Nowhere is off limits as long as it receives the okay by the PRGC.
Esports, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), virtual sporting events, collegiate, and professional sports are all categories that will be open for wagers. Live in-game betting will also be available.
Any mobile sports betting platforms can open on their own without the need to be connected with a land-based venue. Taxes on retail locations has been set at 7% on all revenue while mobile and internet applications will see a tax rate of 12%. DFS revenue will be taxed at a flat rate of 12%.
The legal age for engaging in sports betting is set at 18. Licensing fees will vary depending on the type of sportsbook that an operator wishes to open.
A self-exclusion list will be open for problem gamblers so that when they put themselves on the list, it will make them ineligible to access any form of sports betting in Puerto Rico. Marketing and advertising will be monitored to not appeal to anyone underage.
On August 10, Puerto Rico opened a 30 day period for public opinions on these drafted regulations.
What’s Next For Puerto Rico And Sports Betting?
After the 30-day window of opinion closes in September, the PRGC will consider how the public feels about their regulations and make any changes they see fit.
Once the regulations have been finalized, future operators can begin to apply for licenses to open sportsbooks. Puerto Rico should see a legal sports betting industry launch in 2021.
Estimates for yearly revenue from the industry range anywhere from $44 million – $62 million. If all goes well, nearly 3 years after becoming legal, Puerto Rico could see as much as $68 million in revenue by 2022.
News tags: Cristóbal Méndez | Gaming Laboratories International | GLI | Jaime Alex Irizarry | José Balasquide-Córdova | PRGC | Puerto Rico | Puerto Rico Gaming Commission | Rico Rosselló Nevares | Wanda Vázquez Garced
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.