Puerto Rico Senate Bill paves the way for sports betting and esports law

Former Governor of Puerto Rico Wanda Vázquez Garced has signed into law the Senate Bill 1534, which paves the way for the activation of sports betting and esports in the country. The measure was among the last to be signed by Vázquez Garced before stepping down after 16 months fronting the government.

The bill effectively amends the previous Gambling Law, with the goal of “allowing new industries and businesses to create jobs” as well as “creating new sources of revenue to sustain government programs and essential services.”

Vázquez Garced said: “I signed PS 1534 with great satisfaction. It’s a measure that paves the way for the esports and sports betting industries in Puerto Rico, and encourages businesses and jobs in this sector.”

“With this amendment, we can complete and launch a new industry with the potential to create thousands of jobs.”

Since the project was still going through its regulatory process, the new government of Pedro Pierluisi will be in charge of implementing the law and activating these industries.

Speaking to local media Primera Hora, the Executive Director of the Gaming Commission, José Maymó Azize, explained: “Project 1534 amends the law in some aspects that needed to be changed. The most significant change is the fact that under the original law, players could register online and in person. Now, with this amendment, the first registration is required to be in person.”

The outgoing Executive Director said that the regulation process has been completed, but as it happened during the transition period, they haven not been able to unveil it.

“The truth is that it has been a very complicated process, full of obstacles. But some regulations are ready to be presented, they will define the sports betting and fantasy sports activities,” he added.

The Gaming Commission had selected Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) to advise on the regulation of esports operations on the island, based on previous processes from other American jurisdictions.

According to government estimates, esports could bring around $87m in profits to the Puerto Rican government in the first five years of operations.

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