Applications open for online sports betting operations
By John McPhaul
Orlando Rivera, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission, announced earlier this week that the commission would begin receiving applications from those interested in being online sports betting operators on the island.
“We invite … all those interested in being part of a new market that has a high growth potential and the wide reach that the internet offers,” Rivera said in a written statement. “Through the rigorous standards that we have established and strict regulation of betting activity, we will guarantee the protection of the player and the consumer. Operators will be equally protected, under the transparent and equitable rules and procedures administered by the Commission.”
Rivera said that those interested in being authorized to gamble through electronic platforms will find information on the procedure to follow on the commission’s website. The portal contains the information, forms and documents required to formalize licensing requests for sports betting operators or satellites and e-Sports and fantasy contests on the internet, as well as service providers and employees.
Applications will be evaluated by the commission’s Sports Betting Bureau, in accordance with the instructions detailed in the form.
The official stressed that the supervision and oversight functions conferred by Act No. 81-2019, as amended, by placing all games under the umbrella of the commission, generate favorable conditions for the development in Puerto Rico of an industry that operates successfully in other jurisdictions of the United States.
For the island, the betting market that will open represents new sources of economic activity, Rivera said. According to recent market studies, the economic contribution of the industry is estimated to reach $18 million in just its first year.
The nascent sports betting market will be regulated by the Sports Betting regulations (No. 9316) and Fantasy Contests (No. 9317), which will be integrated into the Puerto Rico Sports Betting on E-Sport and Fantasy Contest Regulations. Those regulations are in force and establish the norms for the licensing and supervision of the new industry. The regulations also establish the procedures and requirements that future operators must comply with, as well as the operation of betting and electronic games in Puerto Rico.
The final adoption of the regulation by the commission, Rivera said, provides the regulatory framework that will make possible the operation and growth, under the supervision and oversight of the government, of a new industry that has become more relevant given the changes in sports disciplines, the entertainment industry and in the lifestyles of citizens as a result of the spread of COVID-19.