International edition
September 19, 2021

They said it would be an indiscriminate operation of games of chance

Puerto Rican hotel managers object the lottery privatization

(Puerto Rico).- The Association of Hotels and Tourism put into doubt its support to the project that would privatize the lottery system in the island, because it thinks it would open the door to an indiscriminate operation of games of chance.


ick Newman, president of the Committee of Directors of the entity, asked before the Financial Commission of Finance of the house that guarantees should be established so the creation of the Puerto Rican Lottery Corporation will not be used as a subterfuge in order to establish new gambling modalities, on top of the existing ones.

"Certainly, the legislator seeks to maximize the economical potential of the Puerto Rican Lottery and the Additional Lottery, however, it doesn't mean that they are authorizing new modalities, similar to the existing ones", he declared.

Newman reminded that, during the evaluation of the cancelled project of video lottery, last year, the Association of Hotels and Tourism, was opposed also due to the possible proliferation of games which represent a competence for private gaming sectors.

He said that the language of the legislative piece is "too comprehensive", so he recommended that several amendments would be included in the text so it specifies that the creation of the corporation "should not be considered as an authorization to operate lottery games and/or other games, different to the ones that are currently offered" by the lottery system assigned to the Finance Department. Besides, Newman suggested that every proposed game which is different to the current ones have to be supported by the Legislative Assembly.

He remarked that casinos which operate in Puerto Rico has 3,000 direct employments, which represents a 20% of the total employment in the hotel sector. “In the island, there are 20 hotels authorized to operate casinos”, he affirmed.

The government seeks to create the public corporation and hire a private operator which operates the gambling system, with which they expect to obtain incomes of us$ 500 million, that would be used for the budget of the following fiscal year.

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