Island gets a second sports betting option
By The Star Staff
The Puerto Rico Gaming Commission has allowed the Casino Metro in the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino in San Juan’s Convention District to operate the island’s second sports betting operation.
Gaming Commission Interim Director Jaime Rivera Emmanuelli announced the news on Monday.
Before Casino Metro, the Gaming Commission granted a temporary license to Casino del Mar at La Concha Renaissance Resort last February. It was the first time casino customers had a place to make sports bets in Puerto Rico.
“The growth of the betting industry, which at this time is done in person at two casinos, benefits tourism and contributes to the island’s economic activity as it is an additional entertainment alternative that strengthens the tourist offer,” Rivera Emmanuelli said. “Our responsibility is to ensure that bets are made in a regulated and supervised manner and that gaming centers are safe and of high quality. In this way, with each company evaluated and authorized by the commission to offer these new gaming modalities, jobs and income are generated for the treasury.”
Eric de la Cruz, director of the Gaming Commission’s Sports Betting Bureau, said Casino Metro complied with legal requirements and internal controls related to security, segregation of duties of employees and operations.
“It has been a collaborative process,” he said. “The casino managers have been very cooperative. They set up a space inside the casino for players; they have kiosks to place bets and a ticket writers service.”
To place bets, de la Cruz noted, the player must register and create an account with the operator.
Players must visit authorized facilities to place their bets. In the case of Casino Metro, the company that supplies the technology platform is Caesars Digital Puerto Rico, a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment, he said.
De la Cruz added that before the end of the fiscal year 2023, the Gaming Commission hopes to be able to authorize online gambling from technological devices such as telephones and computers.
After an evaluation in October, the Gaming Commission approved Casino Metro and two other companies to be operators. The commission also authorized five companies to act as service providers that supply the infrastructure that makes gambling possible, including data, payment processors, and risk and fraud monitoring.
Rivera Emmanuelli pointed out that the Gaming Commission is continuing to evaluate various sports betting licenses requested by other entities in different industry lines.