Puerto Rico’s Tourism Commission approves new slot regulations

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The Puerto Rico Tourism and Cooperative Commission has approved a project that seeks the establishment of a new model to redistribute revenue from slot machines in casinos. The goal is for different groups to receive an equal percentage of the benefits in order to boost their industries in a period in which finances have been severely affected.

According to El Vocero, this measure would amend section 5 of Law 221 of 1949, also known as Games of Chance and Slot Machines Authorization Law that regulates all casinos on the island.

The gaming law includes two different groups, Group A and Group B. Concessionaires are part of Group A and receive 34% of the first $315m of annual net income. On the other hand, Group B, which includes Government funds, receives 66%.

If the annual net income exceeds the $315m figure and reaches $495m, Group A receives 60% and Group B 40%. If this regulation comes into force, the operators and the Government would receive the same percentage, regardless of the amount registered as annual net income.

“Undoubtedly, this new model equals a 50% for Group A and the remaining 50% for Group B. It will give both sectors the opportunity to perceive benefits more effectively and uniformly, without being subject to a net income figure,” details the project presentation.

Furthermore, joint resolution 17 was also approved, a measure that complements the bill and orders the Tourism Office of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) to distribute 60% of the annual net income to Group A for a period of 180 days, and 40% to Group B, to help them mitigate the economic situation caused by COVID-19.