Puerto Rico sports betting projected to raise over $80m over next five years

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Governor Pedro Pierluisi announced creation of a sports betting advisory board.

A new advisory department in Puerto Rico will study and advise on sports betting, as well as electronic games and the fantasy sports industry. This new advisory group has estimated that these sectors could offer over $80m to the Puerto Rican economy in the next five years.

The group will work together with the gambling commission and Governor Pierluisi (pictured) to implement initiatives aimed at growing the gaming sector.

The advisory group will have six members including Orlando Rivera, the director of the gambling commission of Puerto Rico. He will be tasked with presenting reports every three months to Pierluisi and the secretary of the department of economic development.

The gambling commission had aimed to launch the Puerto Rican sports betting market with the start of this year's MLB season in April, however it’s been delayed. 

Rivera has suggested that sports leagues that wish to be part of the sports betting market would have to form their own agreements with bookmakers. However, the details of these agreements are unknown.

Attempts to legalize sports betting in Puerto Rico began with the former governor Wanda Vázquez Garced who, on her last day in office, signed bill 1534 into law allowing later politicians to activate esports and sports betting in the region.

On sports betting, she said Puerto Rico seeks “new industries and businesses to create jobs” and “new sources of revenue to sustain government programs and essential services.”

Representative José Rivera Madera said on the projected revenue of legalized sports betting: “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.”

Fifty percent of the funds raised from betting is said to be used to contribute to the retirement funds of public workers.

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