BetMGM Sportsbook to Launch Ahead of Super Bowl in Historic First for Puerto Rico

  • Bettors can start placing wagers at 4pm on Friday at Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort
  • The PRGC has provisionally awarded BetMGM the country’s first sports betting operator license
  • Bettors can wager via BetMGM kiosks or in person, with online, mobile app betting coming soon
  • BetMGM appointed entertainer Jorge “Molusco” Pabón as its Puerto Rico brand ambassador
Puerto Rico beach
Puerto Rico sports bettors will be making a beeline for Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort in the Condado district (pictured) of San Juan, after BetMGM Sportsbook was cleared for a Friday launch. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Sportsbook launching Friday

Puerto Rico bettors will get their first taste of legal electronic sports betting in time for Super Bowl LVI after BetMGM Sportsbook was cleared to launch at Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort.

According to BetMGM, bettors can place their first wagers at Casino del Mar starting Friday at 4pm.

Sports betting industry analyst Alfonso Straffon took to Twitter with the news Thursday that the Puerto Rico Gaming Commission (PRGC) had provisionally awarded BetMGM the Commonwealth’s first sports betting operator license.

On Friday, bettors can wager using BetMGM kiosks or in person at the casino. BetMGM.com’s Puerto Rico landing page states that its online sportsbook and mobile app will soon be available.

To use the BetMGM Sportsbook at the Condado district casino, interested parties over 18 must first register for free as a Casino del Mar member. After next creating an account on the BetMGM platform, players can start wagering on a variety of sports.

While still to roll out online and on mobile, according to Puerto Rico’s English-speaking news site newsismybusiness.com, the PRGC said BetMGM was in the process of receiving its final license. The media outlet cites PRGC’s executive director Orlando Rivera Carrión as saying the Commission issued the provisional gaming license to BetMGM with the aim of using “an international event such as the Super Bowl as the spearhead of a new industry in Puerto Rico.”

Sports betting represents a new business model for everyone on the island”

“Sports betting represents a new business model for everyone on the island, especially for the capital city, which will be the first municipality with this type of activity,” Rivera Carrión said.

Pitchman on board

BetMGM has appointed actor, producer, and businessman Jorge Pabón, known locally as Molusco, as its Puerto Rico brand ambassador. As pitchman, Molusco will be featured in a promotional campaign that will air on both traditional and digital media.

Welcoming Molusco to his casino, GM Sigfrido de Jesús said that beginning Friday “and throughout the weekend we will be celebrating this [BetMGM-Molusco] partnership with events at La Concha Resort while we count down to the Big Game on Sunday.”

In September, BetMGM brokered its first market access agreement outside the US mainland in Puerto Rico, via a strategic partnership deal with Casino del Mar. The deal was for BetMGM to open a retail beach resort sportsbook and then to launch its mobile app, which will allow bettors from anywhere on the island to place wagers.

According to El Nuevo Dia, Molusco said that in a sports-loving place like Puerto Rico, “it was about time we had a betting service.”

safe and lawful service that will add to the emotion that sport already causes us”

The entertainer added that the BetMGM platform was a “safe and lawful service that will add to the emotion that sport already causes us and I am happy that they have counted on me.”

$30m in potential revenue

In terms of potential revenue for Puerto Rico’s sports betting industry, Rivera Carrión estimates the figure at $30m per annum once the market matures. He believes there could be around ten operators licensed over the next 12 months.

“This new business model will create jobs and commercial spaces for the enjoyment of the public. We predict a great launch and success for sports-betting at Casino del Mar and Puerto Rico,” the PRGC exec said.

Rivera Carrión added that: “Sports betting will be one of the great bets on the economic development of our country. Play legal, play safe, play to have fun.”

BetMGM and Casino del Mar will be taking bets until 12am Friday, and then between 2pm to 12am on Saturday and Sunday.