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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Island’s first online sports betting operation is authorized

With the authorization of online sports betting in Puerto Rico, the island gaming commission projects broad growth of the sector, which it hopes will contribute significantly to local economic development.

By The Star Staff

The Puerto Rico Gaming Commission (CJPR by its Spanish initials) has authorized the island’s first online sports betting operation, beginning a new phase for the industry in Puerto Rico that will allow players to bet at any time and place through electronic devices and under the most rigorous regulations, the entity announced Thursday.

With the authorization, the CJPR projects broad growth of the sector, which it hopes will contribute significantly to local economic development.

The commissioners that make up the CJPR gave the go-ahead to the internal controls and protections for players presented by Casino del Mar, which is located in La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort in Condado. The rules will govern the casino’s sports betting offerings in partnership with one of the largest sportsbooks in the United States, BetMGM.

“From the approval issued by the Commission, players will already be able to place bets through the BetMGM mobile application (app) at the local level,” said Jaime Rivera Emmanuelli, executive director of the CJPR. “By overseeing and policing these games, the Commission ensures that companies follow the strictest regulations in their digital offerings, and the security of betting and payments is guaranteed.”

“These advanced options will encourage the growth of the regulated gaming industry, and with this, the creation of new jobs and the economic development of Puerto Rico will also be encouraged,” Rivera Emmanuelli added.

By law, those interested in placing sports bets online must register in person at the facilities of the operators authorized to offer the modality. Once registered, they can then place their bets electronically within Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico joins Nevada and Washington as the United States jurisdictions requiring players to register physically to place mobile bets.

Casino Metro already operates the face-to-face betting modality, and the CJPR hopes that it will soon be able to offer the mobile platform of the Caesars company as well.

“We continue working on the evaluation processes of other applications to approve additional mobile and face-to-face operators, which will contribute to greater growth and solidity of this new industry on the island,” Rivera Emmanuelli said.

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