Three new casinos will open in Puerto Rico by 2022, which will be located in the areas of San Juan, Dorado, and Ponce, according to the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission. The regulator has already issued the required endorsement for one of these venues, as it evaluates the other two applications.
The regulatory body announced that these new facilities will generate close to 325 direct jobs and will represent an important source of additional income for the government.
The casino that received the regulator's endorsement will be located at the Condado Plaza Hilton, which is located in the tourist area of the County. According to the information offered by the company, this casino will have more than 300 slot machines and dozens of gaming tables. The investment is estimated at US$ 33 million, and they anticipate that it will generate some 200 direct jobs.
The other two hotels that requested the regulator's approval to operate a casino in their facilities are the Embassy Suites by Hilton-Dorado, del Mar Beach Resort, Dorado; and the Tribute Fortfolio Ponce Grand Casino, in Ponce.
The data offered by the agency put together the two activities and stated that they proposed to create about 120 jobs, and will have between them some 450 slots and thirteen gaming tables.
"We will evaluate these requests thoroughly and with the highest sense of responsibility towards the investors, the players, and the people, who will benefit from the reactivation of the touristic zones," said the executive director of the Gaming Commission, Orlando Rivera.
He explained that the opening of these venues will have a multiplier effect on the economy when the online sports betting system comes into effect, which will also be regulated by the Commission and will apply to hotels, inns, and casinos.
Rivera stated that the regulation of the online gambling options, currently in the process of being adopted by the regulatory body, will create fertile ground to boost the tourism industry, which generated 86,000 jobs and more than US$ 760 million for the treasury before the pandemic.
The executive pointed out that Puerto Rico's government receives more than 50% of the profits generated by the slot machines, and that this money is distributed among the General Fund, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, and the University of Puerto Rico. "The plans that the lodging companies and casinos have submitted to the Commission demonstrate the confidence that the private sector has in the guarantees offered by the Government of Puerto Rico to protect the investment of the public and the tourism industry's components. In addition, they promise better times ahead," he said.
Rivera anticipated that the expansion of the activities that can be carried out in casinos, such as online gambling regulated by the Commission, will pave the way for the promotion of Puerto Rico internationally as an attractive destination for millions of people. "We are pleased to contribute to the growth of tourism activity and the economy. The casinos we endorse and oversee have become entertainment centers favored by the public. Within the tourism sector, they are great generators of employment, and their operations will also allow the government to collect revenue through taxes," Rivera concluded.