- Puerto Rico House and Senate pass sports betting bill
- Gov. Nevares signature needed
- PC2038 establishes all details about the future betting industry
Puerto Rico has successfully passed a bill to legalize sports betting. The bill is now awaiting the signature of Governor Nevares.
Puerto Rico Passes Sports Betting Laws
Puerto Rico has become the latest U.S. territory to successfully pass a sports betting legislation, with the bill now headed to the office of Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares. All signs indicate that Gov. Nevares will support the bill and sign it into law, after he previously expressed hopes that a legal sports betting would help Puerto Rico become a bona-fide jurisdiction.
Both the Puerto Rico House and Senate backed the bill and supported it overwhelmingly, allowing betting agencies to start preparing for a roll-out. Yet, there have been some issues with the initial passing of the bill leading to multiple re-writes of important provisions that had to establish socially responsible betting practices on the territory of Puerto Rico.
The bill establishes that no betting agency can offer its products within 100 meters of schools, rehabilitation centers or a place of worship. Based on the provisions of PC2038, Puerto Rico will be welcoming a national regulator by the name of the “Gambling Commission,” which will oversee all sports betting in the country.
The body will have a seven-member board and a commissioner who will serve a ten-year stint. As per the latest legislation, the Gambling Commission will overtake the existing gaming and betting regulators, to name the horse racing regulator Administración de la Industria del Deporte Hípico and the Division of Gaming.
What’s Puerto Rico Sports Betting Going to Look Like?
Puerto Rico has put some thought in drawing up a comprehensive legal framework for its future sports betting industry. As per PC2038:
- A 7% tax will apply on all GGR from land-based betting
- Online operators will have to pay 12% tax as well
- Licensee fees ranging between $2,500 and $50,000
The license fees haven’t been yet established, but Puerto Rico will introduce a floating rate to create a more competitive landscape. Thus, smaller companies may end up paying just $2,500 whereas big operators could have to contribute $50,000.
The bill features multiple venues that will be allowed to host betting competitions, including:
- Off-track betting facilities
- Online websites
In addition, venues that used to host cock fights may also apply for a license and transition to spots betting, after a Congress ban of cockfighting in December, 2018 suspended the activity.
Benefiting the Community
So far as distributing the funds goes, Puerto Rico wants to give more to the community. Estimated 50% of all proceedings generated through sports betting will be allocated to the territory’s pension funds, with police receiving another 10%.
The same amount, 10%, will also go to the Health Insurance Administration, Department of Recreation and Sports, and Department of Education. Interestingly, Puerto Rico is going to grant 5% of all collected money to treating gambling addiction, making it one of the most generous states insofar addressing this issue goes.
Sports betting revenue is expected to increase significantly moving forward. According to a study commissioned by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, the territory could see up to $87 million in spots betting proceedings.