Years of economic crisis on the Caribbean island and unincorporated U.S. territory of Puerto Rico has resulted in another casino closing.
Located in San Juan’s historic district, the Starwood Hotels & Resorts owned Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino is to be sold to a Tishman Hotel Corporation affiliate that will turn the casino into retail space. Leases are being negotiated, according to an AP report. The decision to close the casino and sell the property was made to ensure the financial stability of the hotel, according to Starwood, but the company did not elaborate on the number of employees that would be affected by the closing.
Utilizing gambling taxes from casino revenue to help fund the University of Puerto Rico, the islands largest public university, and tourism promotion, casino closings have been devastating to Puerto Rico’s economy.
Another victim of the island’s struggling economy, after 40 years of operation in July the seaside Condado Plaza Hilton located in the Condado tourist district in the heart of San Juan closed its doors due to a 40 percent decrease in slot machine use over a ten year period. That closure marked the seventh casino closing in the past five years followed by the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino.