Puerto Rico is one of the safest Caribbean territories. The country is blessed with an enormous number of waterfalls and mountains. Additionally, Puerto Rico is widely toured for the El Yunque tropical rainforest, beach bars, hotel strip, and — most importantly — casinos. Let’s take a dive into the pool of Puerto Rican casinos and her gambling industry.
As far back as the 15th century during the Spanish colonisation, Puerto Ricans have been involved in one form of gambling or the other. The country did not set up a gambling or gaming commission until 1970, so most of its gambling history only spots prohibition, legalisation and regulation of certain forms of gambling.
In 1948, the Games of Chance Act (or Casino and Gambling Act) was introduced and passed as a means to fight illegal gambling facilities and activities in Puerto Rico. The act maintained some balance until 1970 when the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) was founded by Act No. 10. The Gaming Division of PRTC, according to the Games of Chance Act and Act No. 10 of 1970, was charged with the task of licensing, regulating, supervising and promoting gambling activities and facilities within Puerto Rico.
In 1989, there was an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States to review the Games of Chance Act. The Supreme Court permitted the Puerto Rico government to take full control of the gambling and gaming activities in the country. Since then, gambling has been a normal activity in Puerto Rico, with most gambling activities and facilities completely legal.
Today, Puerto Rico is one of the few countries that actually generate enough revenue from tourism. The Caribbean island welcomes millions of tourists year in, year out. On the same note, Puerto Rico is a very friendly environment to gamble as a native or visitor. English and Spanish are the official languages so anyone in Puerto Rico will get around quickly and be welcomed by friendly English speaking natives.
If there is one thing the Puerto Rico government is good at, it is their attractiveness to tourists from different locations. In the same manner, Puerto Rico attracts tourists to participate in various gambling activities throughout the country.
Casinos, horse racetracks, and other gambling facilities are available and completely legal. The licensing and regulatory processes are taken care of by the Gaming Division of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Furthermore, the country offers a total of 32 gambling facilities throughout the length and breadth of the country.
In Puerto Rico, there is a total of 32 legalised and regulated gambling facilities spread throughout 11 cities. There is a single horse racetrack in Puerto Rico, located in Canóvanas. Other 31 facilities are traditional casinos.
Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan — which is also the largest city, offers the highest number of casinos: eight. San Juan also offers 92+ table games and 1,979+ gaming machines. Stellaris Casino at San Juan Marriott and Ritz Carlton San Juan Hotel & Casino are the largest casinos in Puerto Rico, accordingly. The former offers 26 table games and 462 gaming machines while the latter offers 351 gaming machines plus table games.
Mayaguez and Ponce are two states with a high number of casinos fully operational. However, the largest facility in Puerto Rico is not located in San Juan, Mayaguez, or Ponce — but Caguas. The casino, Four Points by Sheraton Caguas Real Hotel & Casino, offers 570 gaming machines and 10 table games.
Similar to most Caribbean territories, native Puerto Ricans and tourists patronise traditional casinos than any other form of gambling and those casinos are mostly parts of hotels, resorts, or cruise ships. The country features sports betting shops, poker tables, horse racing tracks, racinos, and many more.
For one, the Puerto Rico Lottery is a national lottery and one of the oldest modern lotteries in all America.
The Puerto Rico Lottery provides daily, weekly, and two special draws.
Further, Puerto Rican casinos offer a wide range of games and gambling activities. Slot machines, blackjack, video poker, Caribbean stud poker, and roulette are extremely popular in Puerto Rico. Craps, mini-baccarat, Texas Hold ’em, American roulette, and Pai Gow poker are also played nationwide.
Below is a list of all casinos currently operating in the regions of Puerto Rico.
Blue Dolphin Casino
Casino Caguas Real
Casino del Mar
Casino Doral Resort at Palmas Del Mar
El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel
Embassy Suites by Hilton San Juan Hotel & Casino
Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar
Fortunes Casino – Celebrity Cruises
Four Points by Sheraton Caguas Real Hotel & Casino
Hilton Ponce Golf and Casino Resort
Holiday Inn Mayagüez & Tropical Casino
Holiday Inn Ponce & El Tropical Casino
Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort & Casino Country Club
Hyatt Place Bayamon & El Tropical Casino
Marriott Courtyard Casino Hotel
Mayaguez Resort & Casino
Oasis Casino at Embassy Suites San Juan
Ponce Hilton & Casino
Ponce Plaza Hotel & Casino
Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel & Casino
Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel & Casino
Royal Caribbean International – Adventure of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International – Jewel of the Seas
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino
Stellaris Casino at San Juan Marriott
The Condado Plaza Hilton
The Wyndham Rio Mar Casino
Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort, Country Club & Casino
Wyndham Old San Juan Hotel & Casino
– Similar to most nations outside and within Central America, the minimum gambling age in Puerto Rico is 18 years. However, some casinos stick to 21 years of age to maintain a reasonably mature crowd.
– As of 2016, Puerto Rico has a population of 3.41 million.
– The earliest evidence of gambling in Puerto Rica dates back to the 15th century.
– Cockfighting and dogfighting were illegal in Puerto Rico in 1898. In 1933, they were made legal — but today, they are both illegal. At that time, there were 125 cockfighting venues in the length and breadth of Puerto Rico.
– Horse racing was made legal in 1910 by Spaniards. Off-track horse racing facilities were made legal in 1956.
– Bingo and similar games were made legal in 1950.
– Charitable gaming is popular in Puerto Rico, and only churches and other non-profit organisations are allowed to provide it. Concurrently, the organisation must be 10 years or older.
– In Puerto Rico, unregulated gambling activities (such as slot machines, horse racing, car racing, and sports betting) are considered illegal, not unregulated.
– The United States dollar (US$) is the official currency.
– Puerto Rico is home to a whole lot of ATMs, available at various gambling facilities.
– Most Puerto Ricans are fluent in both English and Spanish. So, the Caribbean territory is friendly to international visitors.
– Puerto Rico is considered a United States Commonwealth. Therefore, Puerto Ricans are native to the United States and require no passport to visit the United States (or vice versa).
– Picas is a form of small-stakes gaming native to Puerto Rico. Picas and other small-stakes games were made legal in 1927.
– The Puerto Rico Lottery was introduced by the King of Spain in 1814. However, it was not officially instituted until 1934. Finally, in 1947, it was established, legalised and regulated.
– According to the Casino and Gambling Act, every casino must be sustained on a space provided by a resort, cruise ship or hotel.
– While other forms of gambling are regulated by the Gaming Division of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, the Administración de la Industria y el Deporte Hípico regulates horse racing wagers and video lottery terminals in Puerto Rico.