What is the status of Puerto Rico Online Casinos? Recently, the Puerto Rican Governor, Ricardo Rosselló, made an announcement that a new bill would be passed, allowing betting online on sports and e-games, which is to be introduced soon. This means that Puerto Rican citizens will soon be able to take part in sports betting online.
While this is very exciting, many people are asking the next logical line of questions. Are Puerto Rico online casinos the next thing to become legalized? There isn’t any news on this yet and Puerto Rico online casinos are still illegal. But with change around the corner, this article is what we expect to happen.
Puerto Rico Online Casinos: What will they be?
Even though Puerto Rico online casinos aren’t legal yet, there are still a variety of land-based casinos in Puerto Rico that are legal. We suspect that if Puerto Rico online casinos become legal, the land-based casinos will be the first to acquire licenses.
All of the land-based casinos in Puerto Rico are strenuously regulated by the government. At these casinos, you are likely to find table games such as Carribean Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, Blackjack, Roulette and more. They also offer a large variety of slot machines.
In Puerto Rico, there are currently 32 regulated land-based casinos that reside across 11 different cities. These 32 casinos include a horse track in Canovanas – the only one in Puerto Rico currently.
The city with the largest amount of brick and mortar casinos is the capital, San Juan. It is the largest city in Puerto Rico and offers 8 of the 32 casinos. These casinos include the Stellaris Casino and the Ritz Carlton, which are the two biggest casinos in the whole of Puerto Rico. All in all, you can find over 90 table games and over 2000 slot games in San Juan alone.
Below are some of the top land-based casinos in Puerto Rico along with whether they plan to open an online casino when it becomes legal. We will update the table as soon as we find out more information.
|Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar||Dorado||TBA|
|Holiday Inn Tropical Casino Mayagüez||Mayagüez||TBA|
|Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino||Carolina||TBA|
|Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort, Country Club & Casino||Rio Grande||TBA|
|El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel||Carolina||TBA|
|Ponce Hilton & Casino||Ponce||TBA|
|Holiday Inn and El Tropical Casino||Ponce||TBA|
|Casino Doral Resort at Palmas Del Mar||Humacao||TBA|
|Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel & Casino||Carolina||TBA|
|Mayagüez Resort & Casino||Mayagüez||TBA|
|Ponce Plaza Hotel & Casino||Ponce||TBA|
|San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino||San Juan||TBA|
|Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort & Casino Country Club||Dorado||TBA|
Best Puerto Rico Online Casinos
At the moment, only land-based forms of gambling are legal in Puerto Rico – with sports betting being the first online form of gambling to come into legislation. On land, the forms of gambling in PR include sports betting shops, casinos, poker tables, horse racing tracks, and the national lottery. The Puerto Rican National lottery is one of the oldest in all of America, it is very likely that online play for this will be legalized too in the future.
Once Puerto Rico online casinos are legal, we expect the following most highly rated land casinos to be first to the online market. Below you will find a description of each of the top 5 best casinos in Puerto Rico to show what you might expect once they go online:
Mayagüez Resort & Casino
Mayagüez Resort & Casino is situated on the scenic West Coast and features a hotel on site. The casino opens daily from 10 am to 3 am. The table games open at 12 pm and stay open until 3 am as well. There are currently 11 table games, 390 slot machines, and 1 poker table. The minimum bet is $0.01. The poker room is “by demand” only. The current table games open daily include Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Craps, Roulette, and Blackjack.
Holiday Inn Tropical Casino Mayagüez
Also called El Tropical Casino at Holiday Inn Mayagüez, this casino is situated in the center of the city. The casino was first opened in January 1992, and currently hosts 9 table games and 370+ slot machines. Their casino floor is open 24 hours a day and is over 10 000 square feet. The table games available are Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Craps, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Blackjack.
Ponce Hilton & Casino
Also referred to as Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort, this is one of the largest casinos in PR and has over 12 000 square feet of the casino floor. There are currently 9 table games and over 340 slot machines. The minimum bet for slots is $0.01. The casino is open 24/7 and the table games you can expect are Blackjack, Roulette, Dice Tables, and Caribbean Stud Poker.
Holiday Inn and El Tropical Casino
The El Tropical Casino at the Ponce Holiday Inn's nickname is “The Gateway to the Pearl of the South”. The casino and hotel are located on a mountain with panoramic views of the city of Ponce and the Caribbean sea. There are currently 10 table games and 346 slot machines (with a minimum bet of $0.01) situated in the casino. It is open 24 hours a day and hosts table games such as Blackjack, Roulette, and Caribbean Stud Poker.
Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort, Country Club & Casino
One of the most splendid locations on this list, Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort, Country Club & Casino, is situated right on the beach in the Rio Grande. There are 12 table games and 152 slot machines available at the casino. The slots open at 10 am every day and the tables open at 12 am. Some of the table games you will find here include, Blackjack, Roulette, and 3 Card Poker.
PR Online Casinos vs US Online Casinos: Similarities and Differences
Puerto Rico falls under United States territory and therefore, although it is not a state, it still follows suit with a lot of the legislation – including those on online gambling. Most recently, it followed the US’s legislation on online sports betting, by putting forward a bill to make online sports betting legal in Puerto Rico. In many American states, the legalization of online sports betting has lead to the future legalization of online casinos, and we expect Puerto Rico to follow this trend with PR online casinos.
Currently, nearly every single type of land-based betting and gambling is legal. This includes bingo, horse race betting, sports betting shops, lotteries, and casino games (slots, table games, and poker rooms). There are also special poker laws, as one of the most popular games is poker in Puerto Rico. Texas Holdem in Puerto Rico is especially a favorite!
As previously mentioned, Puerto Rico is a US territory, and thus the legality of online gambling in PR is likely to follow US procedures. Since PR is not a US state, they are allowed to regulate and pass their own laws, however, the Congress of the United States is authorized to nullify any territorial legislatures if they see fit.
Basically, this means that any and all restrictions placed on online casinos in the US on a federal level is applicable to Puerto Rico online casinos as well. Due to this, online casinos are only permissible on a state level and player pools can’t be shared across borders.
Many states in the US have recently taken advantage of these state-level laws and have decided to make online casinos legal in their states – some of the most recent are New Jersey and West Virginia. Puerto Rico is expected to follow this trend and is expected to put forward online casino legislation as soon as the online sports betting legislation is in place.
Legal Online Gambling in Puerto Rico
The legal gambling age in Puerto Rico is currently 18 years old. However, even though 18 is the legal gambling age in Puerto Rico, a lot of the land-based casinos only allow people 21 years or older, in order to have a more mature crowd.
This shouldn’t be the case with Puerto Rico online casinos as their player pool doesn’t affect other players, so Puerto Rico online casinos will most likely stick to the legal age of 18.
As previously mentioned, casinos in Puerto Rico are restricted currently to being offline. There are currently 32 gambling locations across PR. If Puerto Rico online casinos do become legal, it is likely that these 32 land based casinos will be given the first chance to apply for online casino licenses.
While there is still no definite information that Puerto Rico online casinos will become legal in the near future, there is currently legislature in the works to legalize online sports betting. This will likely pave the way for future online gaming legislature for other forms of online gambling.
Puerto Rico Online Casino Games
Some of the most popular casino games featured across Puerto Rican land-based casinos are slot machines, Blackjack, Video Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Roulette, Craps, Mini-Baccarat, Texas Hold ‘Em, and Pai Gow Poker. We expect to see all of these and more across Puerto Rico online casinos when they do become legal.
We especially expect to see a lot of online poker in Puerto Rico. This is one of the most popular table games in the country. Texas Holdem in Puerto Rico is one of the most widely played games across the country. So we will definitely see it in legal online gambling in Puerto Rico.
Unfortunately, Puerto Rico online casinos aren’t legal yet. In the meantime, you can become familiar with all these games at the land-based casinos and hope that the online gambling laws change in the future.
As previously mentioned, Puerto Rico falls under US federal statutes. The territory can, therefore, pass their own laws with regards to Puerto Rico online casinos. However, for the meantime, PR has chosen to opt out of this legislation, until the recent online sports betting laws.
That being said, it is currently illegal to play on any overseas gambling websites, not only for casinos, but sports betting as well. Even if Puerto Rico online casinos do become legal, they will most probably also follow this law and you will only be able to play at licensed Puerto Rico casinos, not any overseas sites.
The Puerto Rican government is extremely interested in tourism, and since their land-based gambling already contributes so much to this, it is very likely that they will see the economic benefits from making online sports betting legal and choose to follow suit with Puerto Rico online casinos.
In the meantime, you can familiarise yourself with the different casinos and games that are land-based, such as casinos, horse races, bingo, and lottery, which are all completely legal. All of their licensing and regulations are taken care of by the Gaming Division of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. This will also likely be the same regulatory body for online gambling, or a special new committee could be established.