International edition
September 19, 2021

Gambling machines on the road

Puerto Rico's regulator: "We will continue developing this industry that represents a major economic impact"

Puerto Rico's regulator:
Orlando Rivera took over his leadership role at the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission in January of this year.
Puerto Rico | 08/31/2021

The application of Regulation 9174 for the Operational Inspection and Interconnection of Road Gaming Machines and Regulation 9175 for the Issuance, Management, and Inspection of Licenses for Road Gaming Machines is happening in Puerto Rico, although not without controversy. Yogonet interviewed Orlando Rivera, executive director of the Gaming Commission, who defended his management and attributed the criticisms and complaints to opposition against legalization in some areas.

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ast week, Puerto Rican media echoed a complaint made by a group of people against the Gaming Commission related to the road gaming machine business, arguing that the new licenses are being delivered without any legal basis and with the possible commission of other crimes. What is your answer on this matter?

The Gaming Commission is implementing Law 11, which in December 2018 legalized for the first time road gambling machines in Puerto Rico. This sparked a lot of opposition given that these people have operated illegally since the 1990s, without paying the government. However, there are many operators who do want to pay and legitimize their operations.

Do you believe that what's been done fits within the regulation and that this complaint is a form of pressure on the process to regularize the operation of said machines?

Absolutely. We are executing the legislative mandate and public policy of our Government. We have the obligation to collect the fees corresponding to the operation of the machines from those operators who were certified by the Commission and who are currently operating.

What do you attribute this complaint to?

To those who are behind operators that could not be certified in the initial period and to those who do not want to pay the rights.

The regulation and supervision of road gaming machines is one of the main objectives that Orlando Rivera has set for himself since he took office as executive director of the Commission in January of this year and he expressed this in an exclusive interview with Yogonet (in Spanish).

What do you think will be the conclusion from the Department of Justice? 

We have the best lawyers in this industry and they are representing us before the courts to defend government management. The legal analysis that they have carried out is that, undoubtedly, we will prevail and the allegations will be rejected.

In what stage are regulations 9174 (for the operational inspection and interconnection of road gambling machines) and 9175 (for the issuance, management, and inspection of licenses of road gambling machines)? In what direction do you hope to take this vertical of the game?

Both regulations were issued in accordance with established processes in our jurisdiction and are valid. We will continue defending the management of our Government and developing this industry that represents a major economic impact for Puerto Rico.

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