Puerto Rico Looking into Legal Sports Betting


The rapid growth of the sports betting industry in the United States has caused the government in Puerto Rico to take notice. There is a legitimate chance that Puerto Rico could launch sports betting at some point in 2021, but there are still many factors in play.

Puerto Rico is looking for new ways to bring in more revenue, and sports betting has proven to be a huge moneymaker in the United States. Puerto Rico is hoping for the same kind of thing, and estimates are that the country could see a ton of new revenue.

Sports betting in the country of Puerto Rico has actually been legal for more than a year, but nothing has been done since the law was passed. The government is now moving forward with launching sports betting, but the launch of sports betting is still several months away.

Former Governor Rico Rossello Nevares legalized sports betting in July 2019, just days before he stepped down. Rossello Nevares stepped down after several scandalous messages were revealed, and he was facing pressure from the government.

Governor Wanda Vazquez Garced took over the position, and sports betting was not discussed in the first full year of the new regime. As the country continues to look for more revenue, sports betting is once again a hot topic in the country.

Starting From Scratch

Jaime Alex Irizarry, the former Director of Gambling for Puerto Rico’s Tourism Board, submitted his resignation in April, and he was the leader in the sports betting industry discussion. When the resignation was submitted, it forced the country to start from scratch when working on coming up with sports betting regulations.

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has recently been working in Puerto Rico to examine the current rules and regulations and begin coming up with new regulations for the sports betting industry.

What Will Sports Betting Look Like in Puerto Rico?

Both mobile and retail sportsbooks will be available when the government finally decides to launch the sports betting industry. Puerto Rico is looking at the model used in the United States to form its own rules and regulations.

A wide range of betting markets are expected to be available when the industry launches, and many top operators are expected to look to launch in the country. The legal age for sports betting has been set at 18, which is younger than the legal betting age in the United States.

Plenty of Steps Left to Take

There is currently a 30-day window open for residents of Puerto Rico to express their opinions about sports betting. Nothing will be done until this period closes, but then the government is expected to act quickly.

Operators will be able to begin applying for sports betting licenses by the end of 2020, with plans of launching in 2021. The government will be tasked with reviewing the licenses and choosing only the top operators.

Financial experts estimate that Puerto Rico could see anywhere from $44 to $62 million when the entire industry is up and running.