Puerto Rico Sets April as Starting Date of Sports Betting Activity

The Puerto Rican Gaming Commission’s new director is confident that the sports betting sector will be able to start activity as of April 1.

The Law Will Allow for Betting on International and Local Sporting Events

Orlando Rivera Carrión, the new executive director of the Gaming Commission of Puerto Rico, has expressed hopes that sports betting operators in the country will be able to start their activity by April this year.

There are a few more milestones that need to be achieved, but Rivera Carrión said the objective is to launch sports betting before the start of the new Major League Baseball (MLB) season, as reported by El Nuevo Día. The league is expected to start its season on April 1.

Sports betting will be allowed in Puerto Rico under Senate Bill 1534, which was signed by the country’s former Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced shortly before she stepped out of office. The bill is aimed at creating jobs in the sector and also bringing revenue to the state.

Some of the necessary steps before finalizing the regulation and launching the market in Puerto Rico are assigning a budget to the Sports Betting Division, as well as the inclusion of the amendments made at the end of 2020.

The law will allow betting on international and local sporting events, such as Puerto Rico’s professional men’s basketball league Baloncesto Superior Nacional, the main professional baseball league Liga Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente, the Béisbol Superior Doble A and the Volleyball Superior League, among others. Puerto Rico’s professional leagues will receive money from bets through agreements with bookmakers.

Sports Betting Would Not be a Threat to Sports Integrity in Puerto Rico

Rivera Carrión told El Nuevo Día that he is aware of the risks wagering might pose to sports integrity, but he is confident that at a local level, it would be difficult for athletes to profit themselves illegitimately. The new director added that the new industry will bring additional revenue, which will even surpass that of video gaming terminals (VGTs).

Orlando Rivera Carrión was appointed by Puerto Rico’s new Governor Pedro Pierluisi. Rivera Carrión fifteen years of expertise in directing the casino sector within the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, the government-owned corporation in charge of tourism matters and regulations in Puerto Rico. Carrión is an expert in the slot machine division and has management experience in the restaurant industry in the island.

His designation was welcomed by the Thoroughbred Horse Breeders Association of Puerto Rico. In a press release, the members of the association expressed their confidence that the Gaming Commission’s new director will put a lot of effort in protecting the 8,000 direct jobs and more than $60 million in tax revenue within the context of the complex epidemic situation.

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