Puerto Rico grants sports betting licenses to nine companies

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The Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission Jaime Rivera Emmanuelli has confirmed that the regulator granted sports betting licenses to nine companies. Until this week, the companies had been operating under temporary licenses.

As Rivera Emmanuelli said in a Noticel article shared on social media by the regulator, the Commission granted the licenses after recommendations from the Sports Betting Bureau, which had advocated for two licenses for operators.

The two operators that received licenses are:

  • CHPR Hospitality (Casino Metro, which operates MetroBets with Caesars)
  • Condado Hotel Services Group, Inc & Condado Duo La Concha Casino (Casino del Mar, which operates jointly with BetMGM)

The companies had already received temporary licenses in 2022 and will have the chance to renew the regular ones every year.

Kambi, United Tote Company, and Global Tote US received approval from the regulator and now have betting service provider licenses. These will be valid for the next three years and the providers will have the chance to renew them for a similar period.

Sports Content Co (Stats Perform’s reseller of premium sports betting content) and ASF LTD received betting service provider licenses as companies specialized in data collection.

BetMGM – in addition to the operations with Casino del Mar and having a land-based platform provider license – has received an internet betting platform provider license. Once the online market opens, it will be authorized to launch its app.

While there are other players interested in landing in the Puerto Rican market, especially the online one, the Commission has not revealed if it will continue granting licenses.

For example, in addition to BetMGM and MetroBets, there are other companies that have recently announced partnerships or interest, such as Liberman Media Group (which operates ApuestaPR) and Kambi, SB22 (along with ZingSports) and Sportradar (through Ballers Sportsbook).

Online sports betting in Puerto Rico

The Executive Director also discussed the launch of the online sports betting market in Puerto Rico. According to Rivera Emmanuelli, the Commission will announce the start of the online operations soon.

Once the Commission clarifies the “final details”, it will officially open the market for online betting, which will be carried out from both smartphones and computers.

“Puerto Rico will quickly catch up with the states that have legalized sports betting. The island has the appeal of drawing a broad and culturally diverse audience, while having the security, controls and regulations that the United States requires of its jurisdictions”, he said.

Puerto Rico will also focus on player protection measures by asking them to go to an authorized operator location in person in order to register, open an account and be able to use the betting app. The regulator will analyze and approve operators’ internal controls, where they will review every step of their operations.

Eric de la Cruz, Director of the Betting Bureau, explained that the controls explain in detail how the operator will deal with potential issues: “The companies have a vast responsibility over the operations, so they need to answer to the Bureau.”

Integrity takes a central role

The Commission also welcomed the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), which will be in charge of providing the necessary tools to identify and report suspicious betting activity by using consumer data. The Executive Director called IBIA a prestigious entity that will contribute positively to the sports betting industry in Puerto Rico.

The process to regulate the industry started after the PASPA repeal. Two years later, the Commission launched the process to welcome proposals, and at the beginning of November 2022 it welcomed seven companies to the market under temporary licenses.

Puerto Rico hopes that gambling will serve as an important source of jobs, with the potential of “creating commercial spaces for entertainment” that will “generate new revenue for the Treasury.”