Caesars Sportsbook Wednesday became the second retail sportsbook in Puerto Rico to offer sports betting, the company and its retail partner Casino Metro announced via press release. The company has plans to launch its digital platform sometime in 2023.
MetroBets with Caesars Sportsbook features 25 LED televisions, an odds board, three teller windows, and a dozen kiosks. Caesars also has plans to open brick-and-mortar satellite betting locations throughout the territory, as allowed by Puerto Rico law.
“As we pursued sports betting in Puerto Rico under its unique framework, we wanted to align with the best possible partner that would provide a deep, localized knowledge of the market,” Caesars Digital President Eric Hession said. “We found that partner in Casino Metro, which has a strong brand and customer base in Puerto Rico.”
MGM became the first sportsbook to open in February 2022 at Casino del Mar, also located in the capital of San Juan.
We announce the opening of @CasinoMetro's sportsbook w/ @CaesarsSports. The partnership brings our elevated retail sports betting product to Casino Metro’s guests w/ plans to launch the mobile app in Puerto Rico in 2023, subject to regulatory approvals: https://t.co/hCtMhDclcZ pic.twitter.com/p9mUGpvYYq
— Caesars Entertainment (@CaesarsEnt) December 21, 2022
Caesars also prepping for Ohio launch
For Caesars, the launch will be first of two in less than two weeks, as the company has plans to go live with its digital platform and retail location at Scioto Downs in Ohio on Jan. 1. The company has also been preliminarily approved for wagering in Massachusetts, where it will have a digital platform only. State regulators there are aiming to launch mobile platforms in early March, and Caesars has a deal in place to use Encore Boston Harbor’s second skin.
Lawmakers first legalized in Puerto Rico in 2019, and it’s been anything but a straight road to launch. The state’s regulatory agency has changed directors, the new law was amended before a single sportsbook went live, and approval of regulations and applications has been a slow process. The law allows for retail and digital wagering on all college and professional sports, though mobile wagering is not yet live.
Puerto Rico gov announces legislation to legalize sports betting:https://t.co/EkrCwgJcrM pic.twitter.com/mnz7qeydN6
— Caribbean Business (@CaribBusiness) April 1, 2019
Puerto Rico’s wagering law is also out of the ordinary on several counts, including joining Nevada as the only U.S. jurisdiction requiring in-person registration for mobile betting. Also, licensing fees will be waived for 10 years for existing cock-fighting venues, and horse-racing venues will get a 50% break.
In addition, the law appears to leave the door open for peer-to-peer wagering on non-sporting events, such as the Academy Awards or political races, and bettors will be limited to wagering a maximum of $2,000 per day.
Puerto Rico has about 3 million residents, making it roughly equivalent to Iowa, Nevada, or Arkansas, but it also gets about 4 million tourists per year.
Most major operators are expected to be in Puerto Rico once digital betting launches. DraftKings has market access via a deal with Foxwoods El San Juan Casino, while FanDuel is partnered with CAGE.