Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló introduced legislation to regulate sports gambling on the island, which is expected to attract visitors and improve the economy, he said during a news conference.
The legislation includes a reorganization with a new public policy in favor of gambling.
In anticipation of unveiling the bill, the government referred to two independent studies on the impact that the industry would have on Puerto Rico’s economy.
The first study was commissioned by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce and was prepared by The Innovation Group. This study estimated the government would generate revenue of $29 million in 2020, $51 million in 2021, $68 million in 2022, $77 million in 2023 and $87 million in 2024.
The projections are based on authorizing sports betting on casinos, racecourse, galleries, horse agencies and online games.
The government also asked Spectrum Gaming Group to conduct a market study for bets on legal sports events. That firm estimated that sports bets, both physical and online, could generate between $44 million and $62 million annually.
The legislation would make it possible for Puerto Rico to be marketed nationally and internationally as an “attractive destination for the millions of people who bet on gambling.”
“Our administration is committed to new and creative ways to improve the lives of all Puerto Ricans, especially as we continue our reconstruction in the aftermath of Hurricane María,” said Rosselló.
“This legislation, made possible by a Supreme Court decision last year, will make Puerto Rico an attractive place to visit, which will greatly benefit our tourism industry.”
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Murphy’s decision, and according to a study published by the American Gaming Association, the four major sports leagues in the United States (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL) plan to generate $4.2 billion from betting on legalized sporting events.
This figure includes marketing, advertising and other positive effects that bets have on other areas, government officials said.