Foxwoods Puerto Rico Bringing DraftKings Sportsbook to US Caribbean Island

Posted on: April 4, 2022, 09:00h. 

Last updated on: April 4, 2022, 12:25h.

Foxwoods Puerto Rico is bringing sports betting to the island by way of DraftKings.

Foxwoods Puerto Rico DraftKings sports betting
The pool complex of the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel in Puerto Rico. The resort’s on-site Foxwoods casino is bringing sports betting to the island with DraftKings. (Image: Fairmont El San Juan Hotel)

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the tribe that owns and operates Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, plus Foxwoods El San Juan Casino in Puerto Rico, today announced an expanded partnership with DraftKings. The leading sportsbook and daily fantasy sports (DFS) provider is heading south to the US territory to run retail and online gaming operations.

The partnership expansion includes DraftKings opening a retail sportsbook inside Foxwoods El San Juan Casino in the coming weeks, pending licensing and regulatory approvals. DraftKings expects to operate an online sportsbook and DFS platform once the island government finalizes such regulatory conditions.

Puerto Rico is known for its rich and vibrant sports culture, and we look forward to being able to provide fans with a safe and legal form of sports betting through our retail and online sportsbooks,” said Matt Kalish, DraftKings president and co-founder.

The Mashantucket tribe and DraftKings partnership was reached last year after Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) amended Foxwoods’ Class III gaming compact to include sports betting and online gaming inside the state. Legal sports betting at Foxwoods and rival Mohegan Sun began on September 30, 2021.

Market Expanding as Visitors Return

Nearly five million people traveled to Puerto Rico in pre-pandemic 2019. Tourism that year accounted for 3% to 4% of the island’s gross national product — or total market value of an economy’s produced goods and services.

Total tourist arrivals dropped to just one million in 2020. But 2021 was a robust recovery for the island. Pent-up demand stateside and international travel remaining limited for much of the year resulted in more than five million people opting for a Caribbean vacation to the US territory.

Returning visitors are finding new amenities during their casino escapades with sports betting.

On December 30, 2020, Puerto Rico’s then-Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced signed the Legislative Assembly’s sports betting bill just days before she was succeeded by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi. Puerto Rico Senate Bill 1534 authorized retail and mobile sports betting, plus DFS. The sports betting bill amended the island’s Gambling Law to include expanded gaming.

The legislation tasked the Puerto Rican Gaming Commission with determining regulations to govern sports betting and DFS. COVID-19 greatly delayed the process. The first legal bets were only placed in February of this year. BetMGM was first on the market with its partnership at the Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort.

Online Remains Offline

Puerto Rican gaming officials are still fielding applications to conduct online sports betting. The territory’s Gaming Commission started accepting such tenders last November.

DraftKings and BetMGM are certainly applying. Once operational, Puerto Rico’s online sports betting market is expected to dominate in-person wagering.

Puerto Rico will tax sports betting uniformly regardless of where the sportsbook revenue is generated. Gross income from sports gambling — online and retail — is subject to a 20% tax. The island government expects to receive around $20 million annually from sports betting.