Puerto Rico’s gambling agenda picks up pace as Tourism Board executive resigns

Developments of Puerto Rico’s gambling regulatory overhaul appear to be gathering pace, as Tourism Board executive Jaime Alex Irizarry confirms to local media that he has departed the agency.

Irizarry had served as Gambling Director under the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico’s Tourism Board, co-sharing governance responsibility with Puerto Rico’s Equestrian Sports Society.

This March, Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced regained control of ‘Law 81’, which sanctions the formation of a ‘unified Games Commission‘ overseeing the Caribbean Island’s gambling activities.

Approved by Puerto Rico’s Senate in July 2019, Law 81’s progress would be delayed following the abrupt resignation of former PR Governor and decree sponsor Ricardo Rosselló.

Replacing Rosselló, Governor Vázquez has outlined that she will maintain her former incumbent’s economic plan, as Puerto Rico seeks to revive its tourism capacity following the devastation of back-to-back hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, which has left which has inflated Puerto Rico’s national debt to $74 billion.

Accelerating Puerto Rico’s economic plans, this March Vázquez personally recommended to Senate the appointments of close advisors Professor José Balasquide-Córdova and Cristóbal Méndez to lead the development of a new Games Commission.

Confirming his resignation, Irizarry stated he was leaving the agency in ‘good faith’, and that he would take no part in the new phase of Puerto Rican gambling, as he ‘intends to join a private sector organisation’.

“With the creation of the Commission, both the position of director of Games of Chance and the Administrator of Equestrian Sport are consolidated in the new executive director. In this context, logically, I see no greater reason to stay in a the position, ” Irizarry detailed to media.

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