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Puerto Rico’s Gaming Well Developed

Its 17 casinos employ more than 2,000, gross more than $2 billion, net more than $200 million, and earn government $57 million, but 80% of patrons are local


July 4, 2002
Copyright © 2002 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Puerto Rico now has 17 casinos which employ 2,176 persons, gross more than $2 billion, and net more than $200 million, $57 million of which goes to the Commonwealth government, said Guillermo J. Cabret, director of the Gaming Division of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co.

Cabret was interviewed recently during the Caribbean Gaming & Hospitality Conference at the Caribe Hilton, which the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. sponsored.

Eighty percent of the patrons of the island’s casinos are local residents. That means only 20% are visitors to the island. Cabret said those statistics represent a particular challenge for the Tourism Co., which is committed to increasing the number of visitors who patronize the casinos.

By law, beneficiaries of the gaming business in Puerto Rico include the University of Puerto Rico and the Educational Fund, which are slated to receive a total of $32 million from gaming activity during the first quarter of the current fiscal year. That represents a 50% increase from the $21.4 million they received during the same period in 1998.

Other beneficiaries include the Fund for the Development of the Tourism Industry and the Tourism Co. The Fund received $2.4 million and the Tourism Co. $4.5 million for the first quarter, representing a 33% boost over the same period in 1998.

An analysis of the Casinos of Puerto Rico chart, prepared by the Tourism Co., reveals some other interesting details.

  • The biggest casino is at the Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel & Casino, with 17,500 square feet of gaming space. The smallest casino is at the Candelero Resort at Palmas del Mar, with 3,500 square feet of gaming space.
  • The casino with the largest number of employees is at the Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino, which provides 300 direct jobs. The casino with the smallest work force is at Palmas del Mar, with 44 employees.
  • Hotels with casinos have a total of 6,193 rooms. The Wyndham El Conquistador Resort & Country Club has the most rooms, with 949, while the Holiday Inn of Ponce & Tropical Casino has the fewest rooms, with 116.
  • The casinos have a total of 324 games. The Condado Plaza and the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino have the most games, with 36 and 31, respectively. The Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel & Casino and the Diamond Palace Hotel & Casino have the fewest games (11 each).
  • The most popular games are Black Jack (148), Roulette (54), and Crabs or Dice (37). Other available games include Mini Baccarat (25), Caribbean Stud Poker (24), and Let It Ride (8).
  • The casinos have a total of 4,666 slot machines, with the Mayaguez Holiday Inn & Tropical Casino (400) having the most, followed by the Condado Plaza (398) and the Radisson Ambassador Plaza (376). Hotels with the smallest number of slots are Palmas del Mar (142) and the Westin Rio Mar Beach (151).
  • The largest number of slots accepts 25 cents (1,945), followed by those that accept half a dollar (1,842). There are also 792 $1 slots, 54 $5 slots, and only 16 $25 slots. The $25 slots are divided between the Condado Plaza (4), the San Juan Marriott (4), the Ritz-Carlton (4), and the Wyndham El San Juan Hotel & Casino and Inter-Continental San Juan Resort & Casino (2 each).

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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