For DraftKings and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the hope is that Puerto Rico will live up to its name as a rich port. On Monday, the two companies announced an expansion of their collaboration to launch DraftKings Puerto Rico.
While there are still some regulatory matters ahead, this means residents and visitors to the island will have the chance to place wagers on sports inside the newly renovated casino in the US territory’s capital of San Juan. It also signals that the renovation is complete.
DraftKings San Juan just weeks away
According to a press release, the retail DraftKings Sportsbook inside the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino “is expected to open in the coming weeks.” That’s assuming all the applicable licensure and regulatory matters are clear. In addition to two betting windows, the sportsbook will space will feature:
- Bar and dining services
- Six betting kiosks
- Video wall displaying live sports
DraftKings and the Mashantucket Pequot began their relationship last year. DraftKings operates the retail sportsbook at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. It also offers online sports betting and DraftKings online casino play in that state under the Mashantucket Pequot’s auspices.
“Since establishing our relationship with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Foxwoods more than a year ago, we’ve seen immense success, which can be attributed to the collaborative efforts between the organizations and shared vision for providing customers with the very best,” said Matt Kalish, President of DraftKings North America.
“Puerto Rico is known for its rich and vibrant sports culture, and we look forward to being able to provide fans with a safe and legal form of sports betting through our retail and online sportsbooks.”
Earlier last year, the Mashantucket Pequot announced plans to spend over $137 million to renovate the El San Juan Casino. This sportsbook represents the fulfillment of that mission.
Foxwoods’ vision for El San Juan is complete
Gaming had been absent at the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017. It was the end of an era for a venue that had hosted acts like Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra in its Tropicoro entertainment space.
The Mashantucket Pequot’s investment, however, revived slots and table games within the hotel. It’s the tribal nation’s first casino outside its sovereign lands in Connecticut. Last November, the casino had a soft launch, leading to an opening at full bore again the following month. The renovation included the Tropicoro.
Now, with a retail sportsbook possibly just weeks away, the Mashantucket Pequot are ready to capitalize on their investment.
“We have made tremendous strides in the sports betting space in our relationship with DraftKings, who has continued to be a valuable partner, through our online and retail experiences in the state of Connecticut,” said Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Chairman Rodney Butler.
“As we expand our partnership with DraftKings to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico at the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino, we are confident that we will continue to create unforgettable memories for customers and sports fans alike.”
Although the press release mentions online daily fantasy sports and sports betting, that’s all pending regulatory approvals. The territorial government legalized DFS play, and sports betting online in 2019 but has been slow to implement the regulatory system.
When movement on that front occurs, DraftKings is now likely to be among the first movers in the market.