A Tesla and a 2022 Honda Civic Sport are the main stars of the raffles series that Casino Metro, located at the Sheraton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, prepared to entertain its customers on its 12th anniversary. Valued at $45,000 and $35,000, respectively, these two cars make up a prize package of almost $200,000 that will be distributed throughout the celebration.
“Every time the company completes a new year, we celebrate it in a big way. Not everyone is lucky enough to still have their doors open and, thank God, we continue operating successfully today. One has to be grateful, and we try to reward the customer”, explained Ismael Vega, general manager of the casino, in a video interview with Yogonet.
Vega has a vast track record in the island's gaming industry, with 21 years at the Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel & Casino and nine years as part of the Hotel and Tourism Association (PRHTA). “I arrived at Casino Metro when it was reaching its five years of operation, and I sensed a positive environment right away, a feeling in the casino of wanting to grow and of employees with a lot of commitment,” he stated.
Despite the challenge that the COVID-19 pandemic still presents, he assured that the casino is doing so well that today they currently offer more gaming machines than in March 2020 and were even able to expand the staff this year, although he acknowledged that it was difficult to attract workers in the face of the current state aid to relieve the economic consequences of the virus.
"The clientele has responded," he said. “We have done super well and I attribute it to the commitment that Casino Metro and I made in regards to surface cleaning and disinfecting. We continue to be very strict with the cleaning and disinfection of the machines since it is a matter that remains of the utmost importance.”
A Honda Civic Sport will be raffled off next week.
“Good things are in store for the year 2022,” he said with a smile. “As you know, sports betting has been legalized in Puerto Rico and each casino is doing its own thing, trying to see who they associate with, how they move forward with it. We are also in that phase and soon we will have interesting announcements in that matter, I apologize, however, for the time being, I cannot give further information”.
So far, it is known that the Casino del Mar de La Concha Resort will present its proposal together with BetMGM and that Foxwoods El San Juan Casino has joined forces with Draft Kings. WinIn, Betcris, Sportium, Betsson, and Fanduel are the operators that made public their intention to participate in this market. It is clear from Vega's statements that it will not be long before we know who will be Casino Metro's sports betting partner. "Soon Puerto Rico is going to be a sports betting jurisdiction and it makes us all proud and happy," the executive said.
The operators of Puerto Rico faced the pandemic under two authorities: The former executive director of the Gaming Commission José Maymó Azize and the current executive director, Orlando Rivera, who took office in January of this year. Casinos and the regulator have sorted out the differences that caused two sensitive issues for the sector, the regulation of route machines and the need to relax the formula that divides the profits generated by slot machines by 51% for the Government and 49% for the companies. “There is nothing negative to say”, “they have been difficult times” and “they have not neglected us”. Vega only has words of recognition. The change in the contribution formula is now in the hands of the Legislature.
The Metro Casino is celebrating its 12th anniversary and preparing to make an important announcement related to its foray into sports betting, but this is not all. The casino's general manager added a second mystery: “We are preparing for something else that's very big and important also for next year. I still can't say it, but there are going to be interesting things and we are going to be the talk of the town as always, thank God, and in a positive way. We will continue to contribute to the economy and we will continue to make this casino the best in Puerto Rico so that customers can come every day and be surprised by the different things we do”.