The Condado Plaza Hilton, which is one of the most well-known hotel and casino in Puerto Rico, lays off 144 workers and closes its casino. Following a 40 percent drop in the use of slot machines over the past decade, the seaside casino located in the popular tourist district of Condado stopped operations and will likely be turned into a ballroom.
Puerto Rico's Hotel & Tourism Association said it is the seventh casino to close in the past five years on the island of 3.5 million people, which is entering its ninth year of recession and is struggling with a 12.6 percent unemployment rate.
Gambling taxes represent the majority of revenue for Puerto Rico's Tourism Company, which is responsible for promoting the island. A portion of that revenue also goes to the University of Puerto Rico, the island's largest public university.
"This is a significant impact," tourism association President Miguel Vega said in a statement.