Puerto Rico has taken a step towards launching legal sports betting over a year after legalizing the vertical, beginning a 30-day consultation on sports betting regulations developed in partnership with Gaming Laboratories International (GLI).
The unincorporated US territory’s then-governor Rico Rosselló Nevares ratified legislation in July last year, shortly before he resigned amid a scandal over comments he made on messaging application Telegram to members of his staff.
This year has already seen significant changes to the potential regulatory framework for gambling. Jaime Alex Irizarry, gambling director of Puerto Rico’s Tourism Board, resigned in April, before new governor Wanda Vázquez Garced appointed José Balasquide-Córdova and Cristóbal Méndez to oversee the formation of a new, dedicated gambling authority.
GLI was then hired to consult on the development of the sports betting regulations in May.
The regulations developed with input from GLI include the 7% gross gaming revenue tax on land-based betting, and 12% rate for online wagering. Fantasy contest operators, meanwhile, will be subject to a tax equal to 12% of contest entry fees.
In terms of where betting can be offered, betting and fantasy contests may be carried out in casinos, hotels without casinos, inns, racetracks, horse betting agencies, shops, and any other venue the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission sees as viable and secure. Online and mobile betting does not appear to have a land-based tethering requirement.
As well as offering betting and fantasy contests on any professional or college sport, players will also be permitted to wager on esports, covering real-time strategy, fighting, first person shooter or electronic sports games.