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Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico’s Gaming Commission to grant three casino licenses in 2022

By - 16 December 2021

Puerto Rico will have three new casinos in operation during 2022 according to the Gaming Commission. The casinos will be located in the areas of San Juan, Dorado and Ponce. The board has endorsed one casino as a first step in granting it a licence and is currently evaluating two other requests.

The commission announced that the new casinos will generate around 325 direct jobs and will signify an important source of additional income for the government.

The Condado Plaza Hilton’s plans to operate a casino on the premises once again have already been endorsed by the commission.  According to information provided by the company, the casino will house more than 300 slot machines along with dozens of gaming tables. The investment is estimated to stand at about US$33m and will generate about 200 direct jobs. The casino in the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan closed in 2015.

The other two hotels that have requested the endorsement of the commission are the Embassy Suites by Hilton-Dorado, del Mar Beach Resort, Dorado and the Tribute Fortfolio Ponce Grand Casino, in Ponce.  In September 2014 the casino at Embassy Suites closed. Meanwhile the former Hotel Ponce Intercontinental is to reopen after being closed for 45 years and marks a major investment in the country. 

The data offered by the Gaming Commission groups both casinos together with the agency arguing that they will create about 120 jobs, and will house between them about 450 slots and thirteen gaming tables.

“We will evaluate these requests with rigor and the highest sense of responsibility towards investors, players and the people; that will benefit from the reactivation of tourist areas, “said the Executive Director of the Commission, Orlando Rivera.

Rivera added that the opening of the casinos will boost the economy especially as online sports betting laws comes into force. In November Puerto Rico’s Gaming Commission announced that it had submitted Sports Betting Regulation Number 9316 and Fantasy Contest Regulation Number 9317 to the State Department. The new regulations are part of Law 81 2019 The Betting Committee Act. The Act regulates sportsbetting and creates a gambling commission to oversee all sportsbetting. It also sets out a government policy for both landbased and online gaming, including sportsbetting, electronic game leagues and fantasy contests.

Rivera projected that the expansion of gambling in casinos, such as online gambling regulated by the Commission will pave the way for the promotion of Puerto Rico internationally as an attractive destination for millions of people. “We are pleased to contribute to the growth of tourism activity and the economy. The casinos that we endorse and control have become centres of entertainment favoured by the public. Within the tourism sector they are great generators of employment, and their operations will also allow the Government to capture income through taxes,” he said.

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