The Puerto Rican Sports and Video Games Association (PRSVGA) has asked Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced to include esports in the first round of businesses that could be allowed to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. The aim, it said, is to generate new revenue for the island.

The association suggested that an emergency regulation might be approved to authorize esports, taking into account that the land-based sector is not operating and that online activity has increased.

Gerardo Mora Pérez, Executive Director of the PRSVGA, explained that “…given the minimal risk of spread, the potential of esports in the world and specially in the US, added to the urgent need for new revenues,” esports can be included “in the first phase of reopening”. He added that an emergency regulation will be needed to make esports betting viable.

The association’s proposal to the Economic Task Force included a series of measures to reactivate the local economy. The PRSVGA, which believes that online betting is the next step to develop the economy, presented strategies used by other states such as New Jersey, to illustrate how Puerto Rico’s funds could be boosted.

Said Mora Pérez: “Only two states, New Jersey and Nevada, have established new strategies during the pandemic to formalize the online sports and betting industry. We know that, due to the emergency, Puerto Rico’s income has plummeted and the online gambling industry is a viable option, as it also complies with the social distancing rules,” said the executive director.

“Estimates from the government of Puerto Rico indicate that, in the next three years, the gaming industry could contribute approximately $148m to the treasury.”