SBC News Puerto Rico publishes long-awaited business authorisations for sports betting

Puerto Rico publishes long-awaited business authorisations for sports betting

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has named the seven businesses that have been licensed to operate online sportsbook services within the US overseas territory. 

A long-awaited update to Puerto Rico’s sports and gambling legislature saw Jaime Rivera-Emmanuelli, who serves as interim director of the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission (PRGC) disclose the identities of the seven firms. 

The PRGC has authorised the sportsbook licences of Ballers Puerto Rico LLC, Liberman Media, CCHPR Hospitality, Continent 8, Caesars Digital, Swish Analytics and US integrity Inc.

Sports betting in Puerto Rico was officially legalised on July 29 2019 under the stewardship of governor Wanda Vázquez Garced. However, the regulatory process to launch the Caribbean island’s marketplace was suspended due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Further delays saw Puerto Rico’s senate vote to establish a new Commission to oversee gambling reforms, taking over the responsibilities of the country’s Equestrian Sports Society and Tourism Board.

Foreign and domestic businesses continue to wait for Puerto Rico’s government to finalise the terms of  Bill PC2038, initiated in 2019 to reform the nation’s gambling laws.

During a three-year standstill, local businesses searched for international partners to help launch their online sportsbooks ahead of Puerto Rico’s marketplace rules being formalised.

Q1 trading saw BetMGM declare that it had launched Puerto Rico’s first retail sportsbook in partnership with La Concha Casino Resort, one of 20 casino venues operating in the Caribbean island.

Puerto Rico’s existing framework allows land-based casinos to offer in-venue sportsbooks, however wager services are restricted and cannot offer any form of online betting.

Of significance this week Liberman Media, a PRGC-authorised business, announced that it had entered a strategic partnership with Kambi Group Plc to launch its ApuestaPR brand in 2023.  

Liberman and Kambi aim to establish Puerto Rico’s market-dominant sportsbook brand ApuestaPR, which will be promoted to local audiences via the TeleOnce TV network. In addition, BetMGM, DraftKings and Unibet are reported to be seeking Puerto Rican partnerships to launch their sportsbook properties.

SBC News Puerto Rico publishes long-awaited business authorisations for sports betting

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