Amidst challenges facing the Puerto Rican economy, Gov. Ricardo Rossello could sign the sports betting legalization bill in a bid to attract more tourists and benefit from additional tax revenue.
Earlier in April, Gov. Rosselló said that he was convinced by the reports that estimate an annual tax revenue of up to $66 million if sports betting was legalized on the island.
The sports betting bill – PC2038 – pending governor’s approval would pave the way for both online and in-house sports betting operations. It also calls for regulating fantasy sports and esports gambling. The bill has already been approved by the legislature.
All casinos, racetracks and off-track gambling establishments on the US territory would be allowed to offer sports betting. However, the bill calls for a different taxation policy which includes a 7 percent tax on gross gaming revenue (GGR) for brick and mortar venues but 12 percent for online sports betting.
According to the reports getting a sports betting operator license could cost anything between $2,500 to $50,000.
It is expected that legalized sports betting would bring in additional revenue to the tune of $29 million and $87 million annually.
The additional tax revenue raised from the legalized sports betting operations will go towards funding state pension funds and schools in Puerto Rico. A certain percentage would also be allocated to the treatment of problem gamblers.
Following the US Supreme Court’s decision last year to legalize sports betting, several US states have launched sports betting operations.