Calls for more information on Puerto Rico sports betting market

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Puerto Rican representative José Rivera Madera has unveiled a resolution that seeks to obtain more information about the sports betting and esports markets, set for launch before the start of the new MLB season in April.

In the last week of December, former Governor Wanda Vázquez signed Senate Bill 1534 into law, which paves the way for the activation of sports betting and esports in the country.

Through a press statement, Madera described the markets as “economic” and ones that can contribute “to the development of the island”. But he believes that it is important to understand the status of the process that is currently the responsibility of the Gaming Commission.

“In order to pass legislation to strengthen this fledging industry, we must have an X-ray of the situation of the implementation of the Law and the regulations,” he said.

“We must know first-hand the efforts of the Commissioner, how many and which are the companies being considered, the problems, successes and failures of the regulatory framework and the expectations of starting this market. Only by knowing the current status we will be able to regulate this industry.

“The fact that our projections indicate that the profits from these activities represent an estimated revenue of $87m over the next five years for the Government, without a doubt is a paradigm for the economic situation that the island is facing.” 

He added: “This type of gambling becomes relevant when facing this economic and social crisis, as it will allow the creation of jobs and commercial facilities.”

Madera also referenced the banking industry, saying that it is still not yet open to the idea of processing operations from the gambling sector, which could present a challenge once the sports betting market is up and running.

“[That’s why] we want to make sure that this legislative assembly ensures that the new industry takes the appropriate steps to get the most effective development in Puerto Rico,” he said.