Whenever the regulatory process in Puerto Rico gets sports betting to the finish line, BetMGM is making sure it will be there.
BetMGM and Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort announced that they had agreed to a deal that would see BetMGM open a sportsbook at the resort’s casino as well as offer online sports wagering across the island. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals.
Sports wagering was legalized in Puerto Rico in 2019 but hammering out regulations has been slow. The latest deadline for getting sports betting launched in Puerto Rico was the beginning of the 2021 MLB season and, of course, that has passed.
In June, Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, announced the creation of a group that would serve in an advisory capacity regarding gambling issues, including sports wagering as well as other areas like daily fantasy sports.
In the meantime, BetMGM is positioning itself to be an early-mover in Puerto Rico when the sports wagering rules-of-the-road are finally established with both a retail sportsbook at the Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort in the Condado, San Juan, beach area, and an online sports wagering operation.
"This marks a major milestone for BetMGM, as we share plans to bring our sports betting platform outside of the U.S. mainland for the first time,” BetMGM chief executive officer Adam Greenblatt said in the Thursday news release. “La Concha Resort is an ideal partner, and together we look forward to bringing BetMGM's retail and mobile sports betting experiences to sports fans across Puerto Rico."
There was mutual enthusiasm from executives connected to the resort.
"Paulson & Co. is always in search of innovation in services and entertainment for our properties and guests, that is why we are very excited for this agreement between Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort and BetMGM,” said John Paulson, president of Paulson & Co. The New York-based firm has ownership in the resort.
“Sports are part of the everyday life in Puerto Rico, with a huge following and a passionate fan base in almost every sport,” Paulson continued. “As such, it's natural that we are the first market outside the continental United States in which our guests will be able to place bets with BetMGM. We are looking forward to a long and successful endeavor with BetMGM."
Island tourism officials saw the deal as a step in the right direction in getting sports wagering underway on the island.
"The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. is looking forward with great anticipation to the entertainment opportunities that this new relationship will create for residents and visitors alike as well as its positive impact on Puerto Rico's economy,” Carlos Mercado Santiago, executive director of the tourism company, said in the release. “One of the elements that makes our island a top-class destination that delivers an unequaled visitor experience is its ability to continually diversify by incorporating new options and trends such as sports betting and online gaming."