José Rivera Madera, a Puerto Rican lawmaker, has submitted a proposal to gain more information about the sports betting and esports industries, which will be opened before the start of the new MLB season in April.
Former Governor Wanda Vázquez signed Senate Bill 1534 into law in the last week of December, paving the way for the legalisation of sports betting and esports in the region.
Madera described the markets as “economic” and capable of contributing to the island’s growth in a press release. However, he feels it is important to consider the actual state of the mechanism, which is now under the control of the Gaming Commission.
Madera questions the state of the mechanism
“In order to pass legislation to strengthen this fledging industry, we must have an X-ray of the situation of the implementation of the Law and the regulations,” he said.
“We must know first-hand the efforts of the Commissioner, how many and which are the companies being considered, the problems, successes and failures of the regulatory framework and the expectations of starting this market. Only by knowing the current status we will be able to regulate this industry.
“The fact that our projections indicate that the profits from these activities represent an estimated revenue of $87m over the next five years for the Government, without a doubt is a paradigm for the economic situation that the island is facing.”
He added: “This type of gambling becomes relevant when facing this economic and social crisis, as it will allow the creation of jobs and commercial facilities.”
Madera also listed the banking sector, stating that it is already opposed to the concept of handling gambling transactions, which may pose an issue until the sports betting market is operational.
“[That’s why] we want to make sure that this legislative assembly ensures that the new industry takes the appropriate steps to get the most effective development in Puerto Rico,” he said.