Dominican Republic urged to authorise new regulator after lottery bank scandal

Dominican Republic
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The Dominican Republic government has been urged to establish a new and independent gambling regulator, following last year’s National Lottery scandal.

In 2021, it was revealed that the operating firm of the National Lottery had falsified $8.5m in ticket sales, causing the government to order a review of the country’s ‘lottery bank network’.

The investigation uncovered multiple instances of fraud and criminality operating across state-licensed venues that were selling lottery products, including tax evasion and the falsification of ticket sales.

The Dominican government responded by placing the lottery bank network under the direct oversight of the Ministry of Finance, which has been charged with implementing new laws to strengthen gambling licences and venue requirements.

However, Ricardo Nadal, President of The National Association of Sports Banks, has called for a complete overhaul of the Republic’s existing gambling laws after deeming the government’s action plan to be insufficient.

Nadal has proposed a reawakening of plans to establish a General Directorate of Games of Chance, with a new regulator run by a ‘council of public and private sector individuals, with expertise in gambling that will diminish corruption’.

Nadal has also called for a complete overhaul of existing tax policies that charge a monthly blanket on individual gambling tables and machines operated by licensed venues.

He has branded the current tax regime as a burden on licensed businesses competing against black-market incumbents targeting the Dominican Republic and damaging its hospitality and leisure industries. 

“We hope that whoever earns more pays a greater amount of tax, and whoever earns less pays less tax. Currently, fixed taxes represent a model that is as unfair as it is impractical,” Nadal said.

“It is not possible for national face-to-face companies to be sanctioned with high tax amounts, while the foreign invasion of web pages on mobile devices, which do not contribute anything to the treasury, grows disproportionately every day,” Nadal concluded.