The US territory of Puerto Rico could be on the verge of introducing legalised sports betting and online gambling, if a new Bill is passed.
Earlier this week, the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, confirmed that a sports betting legalisation Bill will be introduced for approval by the Puerto Rican legislature, with the aim of regulating gambling and potentially producing a significant boost to revenue.
According to the statement from the Governor’s office, any revenue produced through taxation of the betting and gaming industry would be used to fund schemes to help pensioners in retirement and to support a range of sports programs aimed at young people, as well as being used to finance the treatment of problem gamblers, policing of gambling-related crime and gambling education.
Speaking about the plans for the new legalised gambling industry, Gov. Rossello said that the new industry could additionally bring in significant tourist revenue to Puerto Rico:
We have worked on aggressive legislation that aspires at being able to market the island at the international and national levels as an attractive destination for the millions of people who bet on sports events.”
In addition to legalising sports betting, the Bill would also legalise and regulate gambling on fantasy sports and on the fast-growing Esports sector, which Gov. Rossello and his team hopes will contribute to a significant revenue growth for the government of Puerto Rico. Under the terms of the Bill, operators will have to pay a six per cent tax on revenue for land-based bets, and eleven per cent for online take. A new Gambling Commission will also be set up to oversee and regulate both the land-based gambling and online gambling sectors operating in Puerto Rico.