Casino operators remain expectant

Puerto Rico: sports betting moves forward

Miguel Vega, head of a company which manages three casinos and former president of the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association.
Reading time 59 seg
The casino industry awaits for the discussion of two bills drafted by Néstor Alonso Vega, which are aimed at legalizing online gambling and regulating the incipient sports betting market.

A ruling by the US Supreme Court has cleared the way for legalized sports wagers throughout the country. According to Alonso Vega, head of the Tourism and Social Welfare Committee, the two proposed laws would generate annual casino revenue for about 20 M dollars.

The lawmaker (PNP) hopes both bills are ratified this week since Thursday is the last day to approve amendments at the ordinary meeting. He pointed out that both pieces of proposed legislation will include provisions stating that 20% of the revenue be transferred to the government's pension plan and 80%, to casinos.

Néstor Alonso Vega says he hopes to receive a report by the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism (PRHTA) Association, which shows the current statement of the casino industry and its potential for growth.

However, Miguel Vega, head of a company which manages three casinos and former president of the PRHTA, has already warned that Puerto Rico’s market is saturated and there will be no considerable profits to take advantage of if both bills are approved.

Alonso Vega said the intention was to “help” casinos. He specified that as regards online gambling, players can place bets through their mobiles or Pcs, on games such as blackjack or poker, after completing a registration and data verification process with the specific casino in which the servers would be installed.

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