Sports betting fans in Puerto Rico will soon be able to bet on their favourite sports thanks to the passing into law of a sports betting bill.
The former Governor of Puerto Rico Wanda Vazquez Garced signed Senate Bill 1534, which paves the way for the launch of sports betting and esports in the country. The measure was among the final to be signed by the Governor before stepping down after 16 months in charge.
The bill effectively reforms the previous Gambling Law, with the stated goal of enabling new industries and businesses to create jobs in Puerto Rico. It is also hoped that sports betting will create new sources of revenue that will sustain government programs and essential services.
Speaking about the bill signing, Vazquez Garced said that he was pleased to be able to finally put his name to the legislation:
“It’s a measure that paves the way for the esports and sports betting industries in Puerto Rico, and encourages businesses and jobs in this sector. With this amendment, we can complete and launch a new industry with the potential to create thousands of jobs.”
There will now follow a period of regulatory action, which will be overseen by the new government of Pedro Pierluisi ,who will be in charge of implementing the law and activating these industries.
Speaking to the local media, the Executive Director of the Gaming Commission, José Maymó Azize, said that the bill amended the law in some important areas that were in need of change.
Of these the most significant is the removal of the original proposal for players to be able to register online and in person. Under the new bill, each customer will initially have to register in person.
Speaking about the bill, the outgoing Executive Director said that the regulation process has been completed, but as that happened during the transition period, they had not yet been able to unveil it. He admitted that it had been a complicated process that had involved many obstacles, but that the regulations would serve to define sports betting and fantasy sport in Puerto Rico.
The Puerto Rico Gaming Commission has selected Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) to advise them on the regulation of esports operations on the island, drawing on the experiences of previous processes from other American jurisdictions. According to government estimates, esports could bring around $87 million in profits to the Puerto Rican government in the first five years of operations.