Bill PC2038, drafted to facilitate sports wagering at terrestrial gambling locations, has been approved by Puerto Rico’s legislature, prompting hopes that it will be signed into law by the Caribbean island’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló.

Should it make the statute book, the bill will green light sports betting at casinos, racetracks and off-track locations. Operators will pay a 7% tax on gross gaming revenue (GGR) for terrestrial venues, while online facilities will attract a 12% duty. Licenses will cost between $2,500 to $50,000 according to the size of the operation.

Revenue generated from sports betting has been estimated at up to $87m and will pay for pension funds, policing, education, health and recreation. A portion has also been earmarked to fund treatment for problem gamblers. 

Overseeing the new sports wagering landscape will be a Gambling Commission comprising a seven-strong Board of officials. Among other requirements, they will be charged with ensuring that sports betting cannot be made available near educational and religious locations, or close to sites offering treatment for gambling problems.

In a previous statement, Rosselló said: “This industry has the potential to convert Puerto Rico into a jurisdiction in the vanguard of allowing the establishment of this new model, which will have a positive effect on our economy. 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.”