BetMGM is First to Launch Mobile Sports Betting in Puerto Rico

The operator deploys to its second jurisdiction outside the Lower 48. Meanwhile, a launch of Caesars Sportsbook on the island looms.
San Juan, Puerto Rico resort skyline on Condado Beach on dusk. -- BetMGM is First to Launch Mobile Sports Betting in Puerto Rico
By
June 08, 2023

BetMGM is ecstatic to become the first operator to deliver mobile sports betting to Puerto Rico. This great collaboration between local officials and Casino del Mar provides a safe, responsible, and entertaining product accessible from anywhere on the island. BetMGM announced Thursday that it had launched its mobile sports betting app in Puerto Rico, becoming the first operator to offer online sports betting on the island.

The operator has a partnership with Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort in San Juan. It is one of two operators to have been issued a mobile sports betting license by regulators — the other being Caesars Sportsbook.

“BetMGM is ecstatic to become the first operator to deliver mobile sports betting to Puerto Rico,” said CEO Adam Greenblatt. “This great collaboration between local officials and Casino del Mar provides a safe, responsible, and entertaining product accessible from anywhere on the island.”

Last December, BetMGM, a 50-50 joint venture between Entain and MGM Resorts International, opened a $3.5 million retail sportsbook featuring 12 kiosks and five betting windows at the beachfront resort.

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The operator said its customers on the island would need to register in person at the retail sportsbook at Casino de Mar before being able to place mobile wagers. Players in Puerto Rico have access to the MGM Rewards loyalty program, and its betting platform supports custom pre-game, live in-play, futures, and parlay wagers.

Puerto Rico is the second jurisdiction for BetMGM outside the contiguous US — the other market being Ontario, where it launched in April 2022.

BetMGM and Caesars both received temporary mobile sports betting licenses from the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission (PRGC) in November 2022. The regulator upgraded them to permanent licenses on March 27.

“Today, Puerto Rico is once again at the forefront of the sports betting industry,” said Sigfrido De Jesús, Casino del Mar General Manager. “In addition to being an attraction for sports fans, this will have a positive impact on the revenues of the Treasury.

“We are pioneers in the sports wagering industry, and we are elevating sports to the next level by developing trustworthy and user-friendly technology tools. Creating this technological alliance with a company of BetMGM’s caliber has allowed both Casino del Mar and the government to learn about innovation in the betting industry.”

When Will Caesars Launch?

Although Caesars is also licensed to offer mobile sports betting in Puerto Rico, it has not yet been cleared by the PRGC to launch. It’s unclear when that permission will be granted, but with BetMGM given clearance and there being no outside appearances of a problem with the regulator, Caesars Sportsbook is likely to launch soon.

It might not be under that name, though.

Caesars has a partnership with Casino Metro, the largest casino on the island. It opened a retail sportsbook at Casino Metro in December.

Retail sports betting at Casino Metro is conducted under the brand name “MetroBets with Caesars Sportsbook.” Licenses issued to date by the PRGC strongly suggest that Caesars plans to launch mobile sports betting under a “MetroBets” brand.

Interlink, a real estate firm whose portfolio includes properties across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, owns and operates Casino Metro.

Beyond Casino Metro, Caesars has stated that its long-term strategy in Puerto Rico is to expand through satellite wagering locations inside local businesses around the island.

Mobile and online wagers will be taxed at 12%, but retail sports wagering is taxed at 7%. Retail and mobile sports betting have been legal in Puerto Rico since 2019, but PRGC only started issuing licenses in November 2022.

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