Sports betting is coming to Puerto Rico and officials are hoping to launch by this April. The Gaming Commission of the territory has a new executive director, Orlando Rivera Carrión, who recently reported that a few more steps need to be taken before the industry can get started.
Green Light Before MLB Season
Officials want to get started with sports betting before the new Major League Baseball season begins. The league will start its spring training in mid-February and the opening day of the new baseball season is set for April 1. If the territory can wrap up the final steps to start the industry, players will have plenty to wager on.
One of the final steps to be completed is to create a budget, which will finalize the regulation. The amendments created at the end of last year need to be added to the budget to complete this process. According to the executive director, there is no budget for the Sports Betting Division.
Professional sports leagues can decide if their events will be included in sports betting. When leagues accept wagers against their games, agreements are made with bookmakers, and money is received by the league as part of the deal. It is unclear as to what percentage the leagues will receive for participating.
Legalizing Sports Betting
Former Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced signed Senate Bill 1534 into law during her last days in the position. The measure allowed not only sports betting but also esports. Garced took the place of Ricardo Rosello, who resigned as governor in 2020.
The bill actually supersedes the previous law regarding gambling. It allows for new industries to be created as well as businesses to create jobs. One change in this new law is in-person registration. In the previous law, players had the ability to register online as well as in person. Now, players will have to register in person to get started.
It is expected that the new industry will bring around $87 million in taxes during the first five years of operation from both sports betting and egaming.