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Gambling Laws in Puerto Rico

Gambling Laws in Puerto Rico image

Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island that’s also a U.S. territory, is famous for being a must-visit tourist destination. Close to 4 million visitors flock here annually, but a significant number of them want to enjoy more than the sun, beach, and culture - they’ve come for the gambling.

 

Is Gambling Legal in Puerto Rico?

Yes, it is. The government licenses almost every type of land-based gambling imaginable, so you can play slot machines, table games, lotteries, and bingo. Betting on horses and greyhounds is also legal.

 

What Type of Gambling is Illegal in Puerto Rico?

Being a part of the U.S., this little island nation can make its own online gambling laws if it wants, but it has instead chosen to enforce those of the U.S. federal government. So, it doesn’t allow any transactions between banks and gambling websites, nor does it allow any interstate betting or sports betting. The government also prohibits cockfights although they were once considered a part of the local culture, funded by the state, and even televised.

 

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Is Online Gambling Legal in Puerto Rico?

Although it’s legal, online gambling is restricted to only licensed horse and greyhound racing sites, including one owned by the government. All other online wagers are forbidden, including poker, sports betting, and casino games. Despite these restrictions, locals still sign up and bet on offshore websites without being prosecuted.

 

Is Offline Gambling Legal in Puerto Rico?

Yes, offline gambling is not only legal here, but it is also thriving. Casinos fare so well here that the island now boasts of 31 licensed facilities with 8 located in the capital and the rest spread across 11 cities. Offline horse racing is also legal and popular, but it’s only based in a single racetrack, the Camarero Hippodrome in Canovanas City.

 

Are Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, accepted in Puerto Rico's Casinos?

No Bitcoin casino exists on this island, and the existing ones are yet to accept cryptocurrencies. However, locals who bet in offshore Bitcoin casinos face no legal consequences.

 

What is Puerto Rico’s Legal Gambling Age?

Like most of its Central American neighbors, this territory forbids anyone under the age of 18 years from gambling. Although most casinos abide by this law, a few increase this minimum age to 21 to attract mature clients.

 

Are There Any Specific Requirements to Gamble in Puerto Rico?

So long as you are above the minimum gambling age, you can bet all you want. And if you’re a U.S. citizen, you don’t even need a passport to travel here.

 

Who Regulates Gambling in Puerto Rico?

The 1948 Games of Chance Act regulated all gambling until 1970 when the government decided to create the following agencies to oversee the industry.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company: Through its Gaming Division, this company licenses and markets all gambling activities except those related to horse races.

The Administration of the Equestrian Sports Industry or AIDH: All horse race betting falls under the jurisdiction of AIDH, which also regulates all video lottery terminals located outside the Camarero racetrack.

 

Conclusion

Compared to other Caribbean destinations, Puerto Rico is safe and has no income tax, capital gains tax, or high business tax. So casinos and wealthy Americans are relocating here, thus increasing the growth of the already vibrant gambling sector.

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