Looking for a sports betting destination with warm weather year round and world class beaches? Puerto Rico might just be 1 of 1. Whether you’re a resident or a tourist, legal sports betting is on its way to the island of Puerto Rico. Once live, the territory will house a thrilling mobile sports betting market that is unique in the region.
“But Puerto Rico isn’t a state!” – while that may be true, US Federal law applies in Puerto Rico because it is a US territory. So while sports betting was illegal for decades because of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in the continental US, it was also illegal in Puerto Rico. Thankfully PASPA was reversed in 2018 when the Supreme Court overturned this decision, opening the doors for sports betting in Puerto Rico. Interestingly, Puerto Rico was actually quick to legalize sports betting. Officials signed a bill in 2019 that green-lit online sports betting and would lead to providing a framework for legislation.
Below we’ll recap the entire Puerto Rico sports betting market. From where it started to where it is now, including the top available sportsbooks and Puerto Rico sports betting bonuses.
Puerto Rico sports betting timeline
As mentioned, Puerto Rico officially legalized sports betting in 2019. However, local law makers haven’t prioritized actually establishing the countries rules and regulations. However, things finally seem to be trending in the right direction. Legal online betting should be available in the near future, under the watchful eye of the Puerto Rico Gambling Commission.
Among the most recent developments, on November 8, 2021, the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission supplied request forms for sporting betting operations and fantasy sports providers to potentially open up for business on the beautiful island.
A few months later on February 11, 2022, BetMGM officially opened the first retail sportsbook in Puerto Rico thanks to a new partnership with The Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort. More retail sportsbooks, and eventually online sportsbooks are expected to follow suit creating an open, competitive Puerto Rico sports betting industry.
With plenty of states having walked this path before, we can say that generally speaking it takes some time between the passing of sports betting legislation to the first legal bets being placed. However, it’s not normally this much time. Six months to a year is pretty typical, so the fact that Puerto Rico legalized betting back in 2019 and didn’t get its first retail book until 2022 is notable. However, now that retail is live, we expect that online betting won’t be far behind.
Puerto Rico sports betting rules
For the most part the Puerto Rico online sports betting laws look to be pretty normal, with just a few exceptions. Let’s take a look at some of the outliers that might seem unorthodox for bettors in other parts of the United States.
Puerto Rico betting age
Most US states maintain a legal betting age of 21. In Puerto Rico, the legal betting age is just 18. This will set Puerto Rico apart from the majority of legal sports betting jurisdictions in the area.
Although online sports betting is not yet finalized in Puerto Rico, when that time comes, bettors will need to familiarize themselves with successfully “Geolocating.”
Geolocation is defined as “the process or technique of identifying the geographical location of a person or device utilizing digital information processed via the Internet.” And without getting lost in technical jargon, simply put, geolocation is what sportsbooks use to verify that you are physically located within a legal state.
So, when online sports betting launches in Puerto Rico, you will need to be within the borders of the US territory while connecting to a WiFi connection or with a strong mobile signal. You will not be able to use a VPN to disguise your location. Doing so will warrant a ban.
One of the more interesting provisions is bettors will need to register in-person rather than online to bet with an online sportsbook in Puerto Rico. This should not be a massive deal as states like Iowa and Illinois previously held similar provisions while Nevada currently has the same amendment. Overall, in-person registration isn’t ideal. It will be more difficult for bettors to try out new platforms and claim Puerto Rico sports betting bonuses. However, for motivated bettors, it’s just a small hurdle to clear. For example, once BetMGM launches its online sports book in Puerto Rico, bettors will need to visit the Casino del Mar in-person to create an account.
Future of Puerto Rico sports betting
While BetMGM was the first to Puerto Rico, many sportsbooks will surely follow to compete for outreach in this tourist hub. Puerto Rico came in the top 50 in the world regarding tourist visitors in 2020 with nearly 4 million visitors. It is a hot destination in the Caribbean, and sports betting could be another incentive to make the trip.
As many states in the US have already seen, sports betting can create a nice stream of revenue between taxes and the yearly operating expenses that these sportsbooks have to pay to local governments.
Back in 2020, Puerto Rican government officials set out a goal to launch sportsbook operators before the MLB shortened season. That goal appeared to be a little bit lofty as there are still some hurdles to climb over, but dominoes are starting to fall as BetMGM is officially in business in retail. Let’s look at some of the most likely candidates to rival BetMGM.
Online sportsbooks in Puerto Rico
|Brand||License Partner||Online Launch||Retail Launch|
|BetMGM Sportsbook||Casino del Mar||Coming Soon||February 11, 2022|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||CAGE||Coming Soon||Coming Soon|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Foxwoods El San Juan Casino||Coming Soon||Coming Soon|
BetMGM was the first sportsbook to accept a legal wager in Puerto Rico on February 11, 2022. It was placed in-person a the Casino del Mar which is located in San Juan, where the brick-and-mortar BetMGM Sportsbook is located. The brand has also stated its intent to be amongst the first (if not THE first) to accept an online bet in Puerto Rico as well. Current evidence indicates that we are getting closer to the eventual launch of online betting – so keep your eyes peeled for the launch of the BetMGM Puerto Rico mobile app.
The partnership with the Casino del Mar gives BetMGM access to the country, expanding the brand’s already vast footprint in legal online sports betting.
FanDuel Sportsbook has a substantial footprint in the market share of sports betting, and for a good reason. Initially, FanDuel made its name as a fantasy sports operator but has since branched out to sportsbook and hasn’t looked back.
Their same-game parlay feature and their slick and vibrant interface are the best in the industry. FanDuel regularly rakes in top revenue numbers across the continental United States and is primed for success in the Caribbean as well. The brand has signed a deal to partner with CAGE companies to help them grow throughout the Caribbean. FanDuel will be a factor in Puerto Rico.
Another staple in the US betting industry is DraftKings Sportsbook. DraftKings made its mark as a daily fantasy operator and has since expanded to sportsbook and casino, carving out quite the market share along the way.
In April 2022 DraftKings announced a Puerto Rico partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation which will grant the brand access to the countries legal betting industry. The tribe currently operates the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino, which will soon house the DraftKings Puerto Rico retail sportsbook. This partnership is an extension of an agreement that’s already in place in the state of Connecticut, where DraftKings is also partnered with Foxwoods.
In 2021, Caesars Sportsbook overtook the William Hill sportsbook and reaped solid dividends.
William Hill has plenty of cache on its own but failed to really cement itself as a pillar of the US sports betting industry. Teaming up with Caesars under the same name has been a game-changer as the sportsbook offers one of the most competitive welcome bonuses in the industry, amongst other excellent, top quality features.
In addition, they have several different deposit and withdrawal options, making it easy for their users. While no partnership has been announced, Caesars Sportsbook in Puerto Rico just makes sense. We’ll keep you posted.
PointsBet is not in that first tier of sportsbook royalty in terms of name recognition, but they may be the fastest riser in the industry. The Australian company is the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports and is the only sportsbook to offer their exclusive “PointsBetting” feature where the point differential at the end of the game can act as a multiplier for your potential payout.
PointsBet is not confirmed for entry into Puerto Rico, but we can hypothesize based on their actions in other areas.
Most popular sports to bet on in Puerto Rico
As mentioned above, state officials in Puerto Rico expected to launch gambling operations before the 2020 MLB season. And although they missed that mark – by quite a bit – there was a reason they aimed to start before baseball kicked off.
America’s pastime will offer the most robust market for Puerto Ricans to bet. It is the most popular sport to play in the small Caribbean US territory. The island has over 100 active MLB players, including Carlos Correa, Jose Berrios, and Francisco Lindor.
Other major sports such as the NFL, NBA, and NHL will garner plenty of attention as tourists flock to Puerto Rico during the year.
Other sports to bet on in Puerto Rico
If you like to bet outside the four majors, these sportsbooks will have you covered. Here are some of the other sports you can wager on these sportsbooks:
- Table Tennis
Available bets in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico sportsbooks will have a full range of bets at their disposal. This includes popular items like:
The moneyline bet type is the most straightforward. When you wager on a moneyline bet, you are wagering on who you think will win. You do not have to worry about covering a spread, by how many points, or how few points are scored, you’re just picking a winner.
The spread bet type may be the most popular. In hockey, this is known as the “puck line”, and in baseball, this is known as the “run line” but the spread is a margin that the sportsbook designates before the game where you can wager on either side. Let’s go through an example:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are traveling to the Caesars Superdome to take on a divisional foe, New Orleans. The Bucs are a 6.5 point favorite – this will appear as “Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6.5” on your sportsbook. If you want to bet on the Bucs to cover the spread, the Bucs must win by at least 7 points. If they win by less than seven or lose the game outright, the Saints covered the spread.
Point spread bets are typically at -110 odds.
The point total bet is also very simple. Sportsbook will designate a point total or an over/under for the combined points scored in the game, and you will have the ability to bet over or under this allotted total.
Here’s an example: the Los Angeles Lakers are taking on the Phoenix Suns, and the point total is set at 224.5. You have a hunch that this will be a high-flying, fast-paced game full of offense, so you bet the over. The final score ends with the Suns topping the Lakers 120-115. Because this combined score is at 235, you would have a winning ticket.
Parlays are the new craze in sports betting. Although they are riskier than single bets, the payouts are more rewarding.
Parlays are multiple single bets combined under one bet slip. Every single bet must be hit to receive your payout.
Here’s an example of what a parlay may look like: you’re tuning in to the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees game.
You like the Red Sox chances against the Bronx Bombers this afternoon and want to take them on the moneyline, but you also like the over on the run total. As single bets, you would see a nice payout, but your odds would increase dramatically under a single bet slip or a parlay. If the Red Sox came through and the run total went over, you would win your parlay. However, if either one of these legs lost, your parlay would collapse, and your wager would count as a loss.
Banking with Puerto Rico online sportsbooks
Making deposits and withdrawals is a pretty seamless process with online sportsbooks these days. Here is how you can deposit these online sportsbooks:
- Log in to your online sportsbook account
- Select the cashier option on your account and choose your deposit method (you may also be able to press “Deposit” on the home page depending on the sportsbook)
- Choose the banking method and the amount you would like to deposit
- Complete the transaction, and this cash should show up on your account balance
Common methods for deposit include credit cards, debit cards, ACH transfers, bank wires, PayPal, PayNearMe, and even in-person deposits at an affiliated casino cage.
And for all the money you deposit into your account, you will have the ability to withdraw your winnings too. Here is how you make a withdrawal on an online sportsbook:
- Log in to your online sportsbook account
- Select the cashier option on your account and choose a withdrawal deposit method
- Choose the banking method and the amount you would like to take out of your balance
- Complete the transaction
Usually, deposits are nearly instantaneous on online sportsbooks. This is not the case with withdrawals depending on the method you use as it requires someone from the sportsbook to manually facilitate the transfer. In addition, you will inevitably have fewer options for withdrawal methods than depositing.
However, these online sportsbooks have become so efficient with their payout times that inconveniences aren’t common. You will always have access to your Puerto Rico online sports betting cash.
The Gaming Division of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company oversees and regulates the licensing and management of any gaming operations in Puerto Rico. Responsible gaming programs are crucial for bettors – they ensure the integrity and fairness of gambling operations by promoting awareness of the potential harms of gambling.
Each Puerto Rico sports betting app will have built in safety features as well. Set deposit limits, betting limits, time limits, and even self-exclude yourself from wagering if you so choose.
Puerto Rico sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Puerto Rico?
Sports betting specifically is legal in the US territory but its footprint is still very much growing. Other forms of in-person casino gambling are also permitted.
Have online sportsbooks been launched in Puerto Rico?
No they have not. Online sports betting is legal, but the Puerto Rico sports betting market has not launched yet. Stay tuned, it should be happening in the next few months.
What is the legal gambling age in Puerto Rico?
The legal gambling age in Puerto Rico is 18.
What sportsbooks are in Puerto Rico?
As of February 11, 2022, BetMGM became the first operation in Puerto Rico thanks to a new partnership with The Casino del Mar. There are expected to be many sportsbooks that follow them to the US territory, with both DraftKings and FanDuel confirmed to be on their tail. More will follow.
Can you bet on college sports in Puerto Rico?
Yes, you can bet on college sports in Puerto Rico. Some states have banned the ability to bet on college sports. Other states have banned betting on in-state colleges – Puerto Rico will not run into these obstacles. You can wager on any and all college sporting events in Puerto Rico.