Puerto Rico delays sports betting legalisation

The General Assembly of Puerto Rico will discuss sports betting legalisation in August, after failing to agree on a bill before the current session ended.

Puerto Rico.- After lawmakers in Puerto Rico approved regulations for sports betting, its legalisation was postponed. Last week, the Senate had passed the proposal with amendments, which required a bicameral committee to give the final approval.

Last Sunday, as the current session ended, the industry expected lawmakers to approve a final version. However, they failed to get the bill out and will now have to wait until August. Then, they will resume their duties and, most likely, debate & approve the segment.

“House of Representatives’ chairman (Carlos “Johnny” Méndez) has no rush,” Treasury Commission president Antonio Soto had warned. However, he assured: “The government wants Puerto Rico to approve sports betting now.”

“We believe it’s necessary to regulate & legalise what’s already happening in Puerto Rico”, bill sponsor Néstor Alonso Vega said. “We think it’s necessary to set a commission to regulate and oversee gambling in Puerto Rico. That’s why this measure covers gambling in Puerto Rico as a whole and not only sports betting.”

The proposal

Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares filed a proposal to regulate sports betting in Puerto Rico. After the liberalisation in the US, the market seeks to update legislation and launch.

“The industry has the potential to turn Puerto Rico into a leading market. This will allow the segment to establish, which will have a positive effect on the local economy. We’ve been working on aggressive legislation. We aspire to get the island to trade on both national and global levels. We’d be an attractive destination for millions of gamblers worldwide,” Rosselló said. The legislation considers that, only in the US, the market would generate US$3 billion. The proposal was stalled in the past but is finally making it through.

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