In the only legal U.S. betting jurisdiction where wagering on cock fighting is allowed, it appears bettors will soon be able to bet from their phones. It’s been about two-and-a-half years since Puerto Rico legalized wagering and 18 months since retail betting went live in the U.S. territory, and sources say digital betting could be less than a month away.
Geofencing company GeoComply confirmed that it has been licensed but has not been given a go-live date for when to begin its monitoring, and sources say Caesars Sportsbook, which is tethered to Casino Metro, also has preliminary approval and is awaiting a start date. BetMGM, partnered with Casino del Mar at the La Concha Resort, also has preliminary approval.
In March, the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission issued licenses to seven sports betting suppliers and vendors, including Kambi.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel have announced partnerships in Puerto Rico, though neither is currently offering wagering. DraftKings in 2022 announced a deal with the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino, and FanDuel in 2020 announced a deal for access across the Caribbean and South America with CAGE Sports BV, which includes market access in Puerto Rico.
Retail betting is providing tax revenue
According to EGR North America, in the approximately 18 months that retail wagering has been live, the Puerto Rican government had taken in about $416,000 in tax revenue through mid-May, with a spike in wagering beginning in March at the start of the World Baseball Classic and the Major League Baseball season.
Retail betting in Puerto Rico is taxed at 7% of adjusted gross revenue and online wagering will be taxed at 12%.
When digital wagering does go live, Puerto Rico will be the second U.S. jurisdiction in which bettors must register in person for digital accounts. Nevada is currently the only other U.S. jurisdiction with that requirement.
Like Nevada, Puerto Rico is likely to be something of an anomaly, in that it is a massive tourist destination, and the expectation, according to regulators, is that much of its betting revenue will come from visitors.
“Puerto Rico will quickly catch up with the states that have legalized sports betting,” PRGC Executive Director Rivera Emmanuelli told SBC Americas in March. “The island has the appeal of drawing a broad and culturally diverse audience, while having the security, controls and regulations that the United States requires of its jurisdictions.”