The Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierlusi, has announced the formation of a group to advise on sports betting, electronic games, and fantasy sports. These industries are expected to generate more than $40 million to municipal coffers, according to government projections.
According to the executive order provided by local media Metro, this committee would “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.”
Furthermore, it emphasises that 50 percent of the proceeds from betting and DFS activities will be utilised to contribute to public employee retirement funds.
“As part of our commitment to guarantee a dignified retirement to our employees, it is extremely important to ensure that the treasury has access to these funds,” the order details.
The advisory group
The advisory committee will include Orlando Rivera, director of the Puerto Rico Gambling Commission, as well as five additional members who will be in responsibility of issuing reports every three months and sending them to Pierlusi, the Secretary of the Department of Economic Development (DDEC), and the Commission.
Rivera stated shortly after taking office that he planned to create Puerto Rico’s sports betting market before the start of the current Major League Baseball (MLB) season in April.
If the leagues agree to be included in sports betting services, the director also stated that they will have their own agreements in place with bookmakers and will get money from them, though it is unclear whether this will be a proportion of the bets placed.
This is owing to former Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced, who signed Senate Bill 1534 into law on her last day in office, opening the door for sports betting and esports to be legalised in the country. Puerto Rico is looking for “new industries and businesses to create jobs” as well as “new sources of revenue to sustain government programs and essential services.”
Rep. José Rivera Madera also stated: “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.”