Puerto Rico Plans Sports Betting Legalization to Drive Economic Growth

Sports Betting

Puerto Rico is following the United States by embarking on a new era of legal sports betting. Legislative cogs are moving and punters on the Island should be able to visit sportsbooks in the near future.

Puerto Rico has a rich history of supporting gambling. Indeed, the company has long allowed casino betting and lotteries. In contrast, the United States has lagged. Only now are states embracing online casinos and lottery games. In the US, giving yourself the best platform to play lotteries remains important, which is why getting a Michigan Lottery promo code is something most people do.

However, in terms of legal sports betting, the U.S. is now ahead of Puerto Rico. Due to the removal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, individual states have already introduced sports betting frameworks. According to Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rossello, the country will soon follow suit.

Rossello says a new bill will legalize sports betting, including the ability to wager on online video games. Stateside, it is predicted legal sportsbooks will add $3 billion to the economy each year by 2023. In Puerto Rico, the government is hoping for the same kind of economic boost.

Indeed, Rossello believes sports betting could generate between $44 million and $66 million in annual revenue from online sports betting alone. That’s money the country’s shaky economy could use and will likely be a factor in passing the legal sports betting bill.

Of course, Puerto Rico already has a rich network of casino resorts. Some have expressed concerns the introduction of online gambling could harm these locations. However, the governor’s office has dismissed these concerns and says online betting will target different demographics. For example, resort casinos are typically used by tourists.

Among the notable aspects of the legislation for sports betting is the use of operating licenses and taxes on prizes to add revenue. Currently, the proposed tax rate for individual bets is a 6 percent in person and 11 percent online. It is worth noting these rates would make Puerto Rico’s gambling taxes the lowest in the United States.

Elsewhere in the bill, Puerto Rico sports betting would also allow gamblers to place bets on fantasy sports, or eSports. For example, people would be allowed to wager on video games like Fortnite and Call of Duty. Rossello makes it clear the country wants to tap into the 400 million people who play electronic games. He wants Puerto Rico to become a hub for eSports, potentially including as a host for events.

So far, it is unclear when the bill could be passed but it’s certain Rossello wants a quick process to allow sports betting to be up and running soon. To oversee the legalization of sports betting, Puerto Rico will form a new Gambling Commission that will regulate sports betting, horse racing, and eSports betting.

The Financial Institutions Commissioner’s Office (OCIF) will continue to be in place and will oversee the new Gambling Commission.

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