BetMGM became the first online sports betting operator to go live in Puerto Rico. The US gambling giant launched a digital sportsbook in the country almost four years after both in-person and online sports betting services were made legal by the Caribbean island’s Government through House Bill 2038 which was approved by the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico in July 2019.
The piece of legislation legalized not only regular online sportsbook services, but also wagering on fantasy sports contests and e-sports. The rulemaking process has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak but, eventually, the jurisdiction gave the green light to the new form of gambling and finally started issuing sportsbook licenses to companies that have been found fit to operate such gambling services.
The Puerto Rico Gaming Commission is the body responsible for the regulation of all forms of gambling. The regulatory body finally started issuing retail sports betting licenses in 2023, and US gambling giant BetMGM became the first operator to start offering brick-and-mortar gambling services on the US Caribbean island territory. The company started operating retail sports betting services at Casino Del Mar at San Juan-based La Concha Resort. The BetMGM Sportsbook that opened at the casino cost a total of $3.5 million to the company.
Now, the company is making one step further, as it has received the local Government’s official approval to start offering online sportsbook operations. Adam Greenblatt, the chief executive officer of BetMGM has confirmed that the company received permission to become the first operator to start offering mobile sports betting services to Puerto Rico.
In-Person Registration to Be Required from Puerto Rican Punters
The online sports betting service of BetMGM in Puerto Rico will be available to people who are at least 18 years of age. Punters will be given the chance to wager on professional and collegiate sports from anywhere on the island but, in order to do so online, they will be required to register at a retail sportsbook in person.
Under the sports betting laws of Puerto Rico, there is an in-person registration requirement that has been specially designed to make sure only individuals over the age of 18 will be granted access to the online sports betting services available in the territory.
Furthermore, the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission will have to take measures if necessary to make sure that the punters who are given access to the new form of gambling are of age. The regulator will also have to make sure it employs the most advanced technology to ensure the authentication of the players, including the verification of their identity and social security.
Although BetMGM is the first online sports betting operator to offer its services in Puerto Rico, it will probably be followed by other companies willing to expand to the local gambling market. Two of the largest sports betting companies in the US – FanDuel and DraftKings – also have partnerships in place on the island allowing them to seek permission to operate online in the territory. The two companies are undoubtedly the front-runners to seek operating licenses for online sportsbook services.