he governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierlusi, announced the creation of a group to advise on the sports betting, electronic games, and fantasy sports industries. According to official estimates, these sectors could contribute more than $40 million to local funding, reports Florida News-Times.
The group will “advise the Gambling Commission and the Governor of Puerto Rico on this new industry and collaborate in the development and implementation of initiatives aimed at fostering and promoting its growth,” in accordance with an executive order shared by the local media Metro.
Furthermore, it also highlights that 50% of the proceeds from gambling and DFS activities will be used to donate to the retirement fund of public employees.
“It is very important that the Treasury have access to these funds as part of our commitment to guaranteeing dignified retirement to our employees,” the order details.
The director of the Puerto Rico Gambling Commission, Orlando Rivera, along with five other members, will be part of an advisory group, that will be publishing reports every three months and sending them to Pierlusi, to the Secretary Department of Economic Development (DDEC), and the Commission.
At the time of his inauguration, Rivera commented that Puerto Rico wanted to launch the sports betting market before the beginning of the latest Major League Baseball (MLB) season in April.
Rivera also said that if the league accepts to be included in the sports betting offer, they will sign their own contract with the bookmaker and receive money from them, but that it is unclear whether it would be a percentage of the bets made.
This is possible thanks to the former Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced. On her last day in office, she signed Senate Bill 1534 into law, paving the way for national sports betting and esports revitalization.
Puerto Rico seeks “new industries and businesses to create jobs” and “new sources of income to maintain government programs and essential services.”
Additionally, Jose Rivera Madera, a member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, said: “The fact that our projections show that the benefits from these activities represent an estimated $87 million in revenue for the government over the next five years is undoubtedly the paradigm of economic conditions facing the island. ”