Gambling in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican Gaming Law Information
By Reno Rollins
Gambling in Puerto Rico is legal. To take part in such activities, you must be at least 18 years of age.
All forms of gambling are available in Puerto Rico, from horse racing to a national lottery. In fact, gambling has existed in some form prior to the Spanish colonization at the end of the 15th century.
You will also find a number of illegal betting activities in Puerto Rico, as well. These include cockfighting, dog fighting and illegal horse and car races. All sports betting and slot machines not regulated by the government are also considered illegal.
Puerto Rican Gambling History
Cockfighting was made illegal in 1898, then became legal again in 1933. While there were over 125 cockfighting arenas in the country, it has since been outlawed once again.
Horse racing was introduced by the Spaniards and has been regulated since the beginning of the 20th century. It was legalized in 1910, and off-track facilities were made legal in 1956.
Casinos in Puerto Rico were made possible by the Random Games Law in 1948. While the law has been revised on several occasions, most major tourist hotels contain some form of casino.
The lottery in Puerto Rico dates back to 1814, when the King of Span started the first Traditional Lottery. It was officially instituted in 1934 and legally established in 1947.
Charitable games such as bingo were made legal in 1950. Only churches and non-profit organizations which have been in operation for at least 10 years are allowed to conduct charitable gaming.
A small-stakes form of gambling known as “Picas” is also allowed. This and other small-stakes games are permitted under a 1927 law.
Facts About Puerto Rico
The U.S. dollar is the official currency of the island, and ATMs can be found in abundance.
The official languages of the island are English and Spanish.
Puerto Rico is a U.S. Commonwealth and those who dwell on the island are considered to have U.S. citizenship. Therefore, passports are not needed for visitors from the United States.
The country is 100 by 35 miles, making it about the size of Connecticut. Around 3.9 million residents live on the island.
Casinos in Puerto Rico
There are currently 17 casinos in operation within Puerto Rico. They are:
Four Points by Sheraton Caguas Real Hotel & Casino (Caguas, Puerto Rico) Open daily from 10am until 3am, this casino offers 1,300 square feet of gaming space. There are 440 gaming machines and 18 table and poker games. There are also three restaurants and a bar.
El San Juan Hotel & Casino (Carolina, Puerto Rico) Slot machines are open from 10am until 4am daily, while table games are available from noon until 4am. The casino has 20,000 square feet of gaming space, with 340 gaming machines (including Dollar Slots, Five Dollar Slots, Nickel Slots, Quarter Slots and Video Poker) and 20 poker and table games (Baccarat, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Mini-Baccarat, Poker and Roulette). There are also 8 restaurants and a 242-room hotel.
Inter Continental San Juan Resort & Casino (Carolina, Puerto Rico) Open daily from 10am until 4am, this casino offers 10,000 square feet of gaming space. There are 300 gaming machines (including 16 video lottery terminals) and 20 table and poker games (Roulette, Poker, Craps, Caribbean Stud Poker, Blackjack and 3 Card Poker). Six restaurants are available, as well as a 424-room hotel.
Ritz Carlton San Juan Hotel & Casino (Carolina, Puerto Rico) Open 24 hours a day, this casino has 17,000 square feet of gaming space. There are 348 gaming machines and 22 poker and table games (Texas Hold‘em, Stud Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Mini-Baccarat, Let It Ride, Hold‘em, Craps, Caribbean Stud Poker, Baccarat, Blackjack and American Roulette). A 100-seat bingo facility is also available. Five restaurants, one bar and a 416-room hotel are also located on the premises.
Diamond Palace Hotel & Casino (Condado, Puerto Rico) Open daily from 1-am until 4am, this casino offers 10,500 square feet of gaming space. There are 200 gaming machines and 5 table games (Craps, Roulette, Baccarat and Blackjack). The facility also offers two restaurants and a 150-room hotel. Their website is www.diamondpalacehotel.net.
Doral Resort at Palmas Del Mar (Humacao, Puerto Rico) Open Monday thru Wednesday from 6pm until 2am and Thursday thru Sunday from 4pm until 2:30am. The casino has 3,928 square feet of gaming space, and features 142 gaming machines and 21 table games (Blackjack, Craps and Roulette). There is also a 310-room hotel, one bar and 11 restaurants.
El Conquistador Resort & Casino (Las Croabas, Puerto Rico) Open Monday thru Thursday from noon until 3am and Friday thru Sunday from 10am until 3am. The casino features 10,000 square feet of gaming space and offers 236 gaming machines and 12 poker and table games (Roulette, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Mini-Baccarat, and Poker). A 500-seat bingo hall is also available. There are ten restaurants on the property, as well as one bar and a 984-room hotel. Their website is www.elconresort.com.
Holiday Inn Tropical Casino Mayaguez (Mayaguez, Puerto Rico) Open 24 hours a day, this casino has 9,690 square feet of gaming space. There are 388 gaming machines and 11 poker and table games (Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Mini-Baccarat, Poker and Roulette). One restaurant is available, along with a 142-room hotel. Their website is www.hidpr.com.
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