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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Amendments to gaming machine law won’t be implemented, fiscal board says

By The Star Staff

The Financial Oversight and Management Board said the government will not implement Act 104 of 2022, which amended the Gaming Machine Act, as concerns with the law persist.

The 2022 law amended Act 11-1933, known as the “Gaming Machine Act,” and, among other things, reduced the licensing fee for gaming machines, eliminated the tax imposed on gambling winnings, altered the current distribution of revenues derived from gaming machines, and modified the requirement for the centralized computer connectivity system for gambling machines in Puerto Rico.

The oversight board made its remarks in a June 8 letter to Alex Martínez Maldonado of Martínez Maldonado & Vientós Orta LLC. Maldonado had expressed concern on behalf of several slot machine operators and service providers regarding the implementation of Act 104.

Specifically, in a letter, he had expressed concerns regarding the status of regulations required to implement Act 104 and requested that the oversight board “clarify if the [Gaming] Commission may continue with the implementation of Act 104 and/or if the concerns of the Oversight Board related to said act persist,” and requested that the Gaming Commission publicly detail its proposed action plan to comply with all terms, responsibilities and procedures duly established by the Gaming Machine Act.

The oversight board has previously expressed its concerns regarding Act 104 in correspondence to Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia. In December, the board said Act 104 decreases commonwealth tax and fee revenues without identifying any offsetting revenue increases or reductions in expenditures to account for those decreases. The board said at the time that the act is inconsistent with the Certified 2022 Commonwealth Fiscal Plan and in violation of PROMESA, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act.

“The Oversight Board continues to have concerns about Act 104, and the Government has confirmed that Act 104 may not be implemented,” the board said. “We understand your clients’ interest in the implementation of Act 104, but trust you understand the Oversight Board’s mandate to ensure the Commonwealth achieves fiscal responsibility and access to capital markets.”

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