Can regulated sports betting help revitalize the hurricane-battered economy of Puerto Rico? Lawmakers on the island are betting that the contents of House Resolution 2038 (HR 2038) will do just that as sports betting gives well-heeled tourists one more place to spend their hard earned dollars when on vacation.

According to a report from the news site Yogonet, the Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly gave their approval to the bill earlier this week. HR 2038 has already received the blessings of the Puerto Rico Senate. Its widely expected that Governor Ricardo Rosselló will give his approval to the bill, officially making it the law of the land.

Governor Rossell√≥ is highly supportive of the gaming industry as a means to help revive his country’s economy and, according to CalvinAyre.com, recently said, “This industry has the potential to convert Puerto Rico into a jurisdiction in the vanguard of allowing the establishment of this new model, which will have a positive effect on our economy. We have worked on aggressive legislation that aspires at being able to market the island at the international and national levels as an attractive destination for the millions of people who bet on sports events.”

Under the terms of the bill, Puerto Rico operators would be eligible to offer wagers on professional sports, esports, and fantasy sports. As is standard in most parts of the US where regulated sports betting has taken hold, wagers on amateur sports will not be allowed.

HR 2038 also provides for the establishment of an island gaming commission as well as taxes of seven percent on income earned from land-based wagering and 12 percent for income earned from online sports betting.

So far there’s no word on when the first sportsbook is likely to offer regulated sports betting to Puerto Rico residents and visitors.


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