Simon’s Puerto Rico Gambling Guide

A picture of Sheraton Hotel Casino (Puerto Rico). The picture is used as the header image of Simon's Puerto Rico gambling guide.

Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is a United States territory located in the northeastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico is an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands. The capital and largest city is San Juan. The islands that constitute the state cover a total land area of 9,104 square kilometers (3,515 sq mi). Puerto Rico’s population is approximately 3,6 million.

Almost all forms of land based gambling are legal and regulated in Puerto Rico, including casino games, lotteries, bingo, horse and even cockfight betting. There are 19 casinos, one horse track and several cockfighting arenas on the islands. Puerto Rico is one of the countries in the world, and the only territory of the USA, which still allows betting on blood sports.

The legal status of unincorporated territories within the US is quite controversial. They can elect regulators and pass their own laws, but the US congress (to which they cannot appoint representatives) can nullify the measures of their territorial legislatures. Therefore all the restrictions on online gambling that exist in the US on a federal level are in force in Puerto Rico as well. This means, online gambling is only allowed on an intrastate level (no sharing of player pools across state or country borders) and online sports betting is outlawed (currently you can only bet on sports legally within Nevada).

According to UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act)**, financial transactions related to unlawful online gambling are illegal (that’s why foreign online casinos do not accept credit cards from people from the US and US territories). The other most important federal legal statute pertaining to online gambling is the Wire Act of 1961***, which outlaws all interstate electronic communication transmissions related to gambling (therefore, interstate online gambling). Both of these are federal laws, therefore they’re in force in Puerto Rico as well.

However, playing on foreign online gambling sites is not criminalised. Puerto Ricans can gamble on foreign platforms that accept their registrations without having to worry about the authorities, although they have to use online payment processors, instead of regular bank transactions, due to the UIGEA and there are only a few online gambling websites that accept people from the USA or its territories (for a list, see below).

/For more information about gambling and online in the USA click here./

If you like the article, give it a +1!



*Territories of the United States

**Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 – Overview 

***18 U.S. Code § 1084 – Transmission of wagering information; penalties (Federal Wire Act)





Puerto Rico casino gambling


Online casino gambling in Puerto Rico: illegal, players are not prosecuted


Land based casinos are legal and regulated in Puerto Rico since as early as 1948. Currently, there are 19 legally operating casinos on the islands. All of them are located inside major tourist resorts, but locals are also allowed to enter these venues too.

Online casinos are illegal in Puerto Rico, according to US federal law. All financial transactions in relation to online casino gambling are illegal. However, players cannot be prosecuted for gambling in an online casino from Puerto Rico, if they transfer their money through online payment processors (digital wallets, e.g.: Neteller, Paypal) and find an online casino that accepts their registration and such payment methods.

The following online casinos accept players from Puerto Rico (and they accept digital wallets):

This is an animated GIF banner ad of the online casino Black Lotus. Black Lotus casino accepts players from Puerto Rico. The animated banner reads: elemental 7, play now, Bonus code: Earth, 10 free spins.

Black lotus casino – accepting players from Puerto Rico

This is the animated GIF banner ad of Lotus Asia online casino. Lotus Asia online casino accepts players from Puerto Rico. The animated banner reads: get $1000 free, download, instant play.

Lotus Asia casino – accepting players from Puerto Rico


GT Bets accepts players from Puerto Rico – accepting Bitcoins as well



Bingo in Puerto Rico


Online bingo in Puerto Rico: illegal, players are not prosecuted


Land based bingo is legal and regulated in Puerto Rico. There is charity bingo on the island, but some casinos reportedly organize for profit bingo as well.

However, online bingo is illegal, according to US federal law. States are allowed to pass laws permitting online bingo, but to date, the only legal bingo site in the US operates in New Jersey ( – only accepts players from New Jersey).

However, players who visit foreign online bingo sites are not prosecuted neither in Puerto Rico, nor in any other US state or territory. The restrictions on financial transactions apply here as well; no credit cards.

The following online bingo websites accept players from Puerto Rico:

I can not recommend any. Due to the restrictions placed on financial transactions and due to pressure from the US only a few bingo websites accept players from Puerto Rico. And none of the online bingo sites I personally know and usually recommend accept players from Puerto Rico.



Poker in Puerto Rico


Online poker in Puerto Rico: illegal, players are not prosecuted


Land based poker in Puerto Rico is legal and regulated. Real money poker games can be played legally inside licensed brick and mortar casinos. There are, as mentioned before, 19 such venues on the islands currently.

Online poker is illegal in Puerto Rico and in the US on a federal level. Although current federal statutes allow states and territories to pass laws allowing online poker, Puerto Rico did not yet enact such a legislation. However, Puerto Rican players who play on foreign online poker platforms are not prosecuted (the restrictions on credit cards still apply).

The following online poker websites accept players from Puerto Rico:

I can not recommend any. None of the poker websites I play on accept players from the USA or US territories.



Sports betting in Puerto Rico


Online sports betting in Puerto Rico: illegal, players are not prosecuted (betting on horse races is exempt)


The 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act* (PASP) outlawed sports betting nationwide in an attempt to protect professional and amateur sports against the perceived dangers of sports betting . PASPA barred states that didn’t already have legal sports betting from ever legalizing it. This law effectively gave Nevada a sports gambling monopoly. However, players from Puerto Rico or any other state are not prosecuted for placing bets with foreign online bookmakers. US laws do not criminalize betting on the level of the individual player. 

Horse racing betting is a different issue. It is exempt from both PASPA and UIGEA. Horse racing betting and online horse racing betting is legal in the majority of the states and territories, including Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico recently launched its first legal horse racing betting site. Betting is also legal on the islands’ only thoroughbred track, the Hipodromo Camarero as well as off track, in brick and mortar betting shops.

Betting on cockfights is also legal in the state. It is a traditional form of entertainment amongst the local populace. Cockfighting is so popular in Puerto Rico, that some arenas are actually funded by the government and some of the fights are televised*. No other US state or territory allows betting on blood sports.

The following online sportsbooks accept players from Puerto Rico:


GT Bets online bookmaker – accepts registrations from the Puerto Rico, also accepts Bitcoin

*Source: Cockfighting-The Gentleman’s Sport of Puerto Rico.



Lottery in Puerto Rico


Online lottery in Puerto Rico: legal, state monopoly


Puerto Rico operates a state lottery. Tickets for the Puerto Rico Lottery are available through land based lottery shops and video lottery machines all over the islands.

Foreign online lotteries are not legal in Puerto Rico. However, players are not prosecuted for purchasing lottery tickets online from abroad.

The following websites let people from Puerto Rico purchase lottery tickets online:

Coming soon!



Bitcoin gambling in Puerto Rico


Bitcoin gambling in Puerto Rico: illegal, players are not prosecuted


The legal status of Bitcoin gambling in the USA not entirely regulated. What is certain that Bitcoin online gambling websites can not be registered and operated in the USA,and people have been fined and jailed for attempting it (players were not). The fact, that the UIGEA does not ban online gambling, only prohibits financial transactions related to online gambling, and it is not clear, whether Bitcoin is included in that prohibition.

What is certain, however, is that Puerto Ricans who play in non-US Bitcoin casinos are not prosecuted.

The following Bitcoin gambling websites accept players from Puerto Rico:

This a banner ad from Puerto Rico

GT Bets accepts players from Puerto Rico, and also accepts Bitcoin


If you have questions or any feedback don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. Please let me know in the comments section if you think we might have gotten something wrong or if you have additional information, clarification about the legal status of online gambling in this country.


If you like the article, give it a +1!


This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.


Last updated: 2016-07-12

Simon's Guide to Gambling - Puerto Rico
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Gambling - Puerto Rico
An overview of the legal status of various forms of online and brick & mortar gambling in the US unincorporated territory of Puerto Rico. A list of online gambling websites accepting players from Puerto Rico is included as well.
Simon's Online Marketing Kft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *