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Legal Gaming Earns $2.5 Billion In Puerto Rico


September 21, 2000
Copyright © 2000 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

A total of $2.8 billion was spent in Puerto Rico on legal gaming during fiscal year 2000 compared to $2.5 billion in FY 1999, according to PR Treasury Department statistics. Statistics for casino spending–other than slot machines–were not available for either year.

The biggest increase–$218 million–came from slot machine players who spent $1,690.6 billion in FY 2000 compared to $1,472.6 billion in FY ‘99. Lotto players increased spending by $28.8 million, from $253.9 million to $282.7 million. Traditional lottery tickets sales was the only sector to show a reduction, down from $461.2 million in FY 1999 to $457.2 million in FY 2000.

At $44 million, horse racing bets registered one of the largest increases in recent years. This fiscal year, El Comandante racetrack collected $256.2 million in bets compared to $212.2 last year–a reflection of Hurricane Georges devastating effects on the Canovanas facilities, which closed down for several months during FY ‘99.

The horseracing industry has experienced several years of ups and downs in the period beginning in FY 1993. During the previous decade, bets had risen from $101.8 million in FY ‘81 to $139.4 million by FY ‘92. The following year, fiscal ‘93 betting almost doubled to $239.2 million. During the past decade, racetrack betting stabilized around the mid-$200 million mark except for FY ‘95 which experienced a high of $299.3 million.

Cockfights also had a slight year over year increase of $6 million, $153 million to $159 million. This has been by far the highest figure in the past decade for a sport that has always increased its bets by an average of $3 million to $4 million annually. The Treasury Department estimates for cockfight bets in FY 1990 was $113 million.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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