Puerto Rico Government Gaming Commission announced that Puerto Rican casinos’ earnings exceeded $355 million. This is a huge success; the reported earnings have recorded a growth of 38.89% compared to the last fiscal year. The amount of money collected in the previous year was larger than $256 million.
This is huge news for the overall Puerto Rican economy. During the last year, the increase was 14.4%, and this year it doubled.
The impact of the pandemic:
Miguel Vega, president of the Casino Committee of the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association (PRHTA), explained that this significant growth could occur due to many factors, including the stabilization of the industry. The COVID pandemic has caused many businesses to start slowly falling apart, but it seems that things are finally going in the right direction.
Vega added: “The reason revenues have improved is that the casinos have now stabilized, and there are not as many restrictions. We had a more consistent year operationally, of course, and we have the challenges of employment, but we have operations with regular schedules, which has allowed us to recover lost ground.”
Puerto Rico isn’t the only country that recorded growth. The same thing happened in the United States: the U.S. gambling industry recorded its best quarter so far, earning more than $15 billion. The previously registered amount was $14 billion, which means the earnings enhanced by 2% this year, as the AP stated.
When it comes to the calendar year, and not the fiscal, the Puerto Rican gaming industry remained in negative territory. It happened because of the period of May to September, and the most significant drop was 3.04% compared to the last year’s results. In October, the casinos reached 15.14% more than the last year, which is $5.251.240 more than in 2021.
Idalynn Ortiz Rivera, Communications Director of the Casino Commission, said: “In effect, in the month of October, there was a significant increase with respect to previous months. In other words, in May and June, things started to slow down, but in October, they started to pick up again.”
Further commenting on the increase, she added: “This year, based on the average, we could have an increase, but we could also end up with the opposite result.”
The president of the Casino Committee is sure that the industry will end the next fiscal year similarly to this one: “We are in positive territory, and we definitely expect to finish this fiscal year and next year positively.”
The great profit:
Just 17 casinos that currently operate across Puerto Rico have around five thousand slot machines. The profit casinos get from them is more than $300 million in a year. Not only is the profit high, but casinos provide more than 3.000 people with direct jobs.
More than 50% of the casinos’ profits go to the Treasury. The General Fund, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, and the University of Puerto Rico further split the money.
Sports betting is also about to begin in this country, contributing around $18 million to the Treasury.