The government of Puerto Rico is looking to breathe new life into its economy, and updates to its sports betting market might help. New gaming legislation is on the way, but the addition of sports betting operators should strengthen the US territory’s economic foundation.
On Thursday, the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission (PRGC) authorized the entry of seven new companies into the sports betting industry. The interim executive director of the regulatory body, Jaime Rivera Emmanuelli, reported the update, explaining that new operators and suppliers are coming.
Rivera, who took over the PRGC from Orlando Rivera Carrión, used the announcement to stress that online betting can be an important source of jobs, as well as for the creation of commercial spaces for entertainment. At the same time, he expects all betting options to go a long way toward generating new income for the treasury.
Expanding PR’s Betting Market
As explained by Rivera, the PRGC accepted the recommendation of Puerto Rico’s Sports Betting Bureau (SBB) to grant licenses to three operators. The other four are service providers that assist in the betting process. Of the seven licenses the PRGC is authorizing, five of them are temporary.
Prior to the recommendation, the SBB carried out an evaluation of the profile, track records, financial records, and tax compliance of the companies. It also scrutinized their technical and financial capabilities, as well as their shareholders and principal officers.
Rivera explained that the licenses correspond to three operators, three service suppliers, and a technology provider that will facilitate the use of betting machines. The bets primarily involve sporting events in and outside of Puerto Rico, but can also include special authorized events.
The three operators are Ballers Puerto Rico Sportsbook LLC, Liberman Media Group Gaming LLC (LMG), and CCHPR Hospitality, LLC (Casino Metro). Services provider licenses went to Continent 8 Technologies PR LLC and technology platform provider Caesars Digital PR, Inc. Securities and Exchange Commission data doesn’t reveal a connection between Caesars Digital PR and Caesars Entertainment.
All five of those companies received temporary licenses. Service providers Swish Analytics Puerto Rico Inc. and US Integrity Inc. received permanent licenses.
The secretary of the Department of Economic Development and president of the PRGC, Manuel Cidre Miranda, echoed Rivera’s financial expectations. He said in a separate statement that the market expansion will inject new funds into the government and bring new economic opportunities to the territory.
Online Sportsbooks Prepare to Dig In
Currently in Puerto Rico, only in-person sports betting exists. DraftKings entered the territory earlier this year and, like BetMGM and others, hopes online betting will come soon.
Rivera explained that the commission is in the process of reviewing the internal controls of operators interested in providing online betting. As the process evolves, the PRGC may approve other operators.
The issuance of the licenses automatically comes with more funds for the government. In order to receive a license, each company had to pay a fee based on the functions they perform in the industry.
A company that provides the space to place any gambling machines pays $50K, according to Rivera. The establishment may or may not be a gaming casino. The company is responsible for adopting internal controls that cover aspects of security and the use of technology. It also has to manage the human resources functions that will interact with the public and assist in the placement of wagers.
The carrier service provider must pay $5,000 for the license. This type of company is in charge of providing the different services necessary for the operation and functioning of the gaming infrastructure and the server programs. Lastly, the betting technology platform provider must pay $15K, which authorizes it to supply online or live betting platforms.
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