Teófilo Quico Taba, Administrator of the Dominican Republic Lottery, has taken the National Federation of Lottery Banks (Fenebanca) to task over attempts to avoid paying tax.
As reported by G3 Newswire, illegal lottery outlets were handed 120 days to comply with new rules issued by the Ministry of Finance in August.
Later in the same month, President Luis Abinader ordered a major overhaul of the lottery sector in the Dominican Republic, stating that lottery regulation was a matter of national interest.
In August, the General Directorate of Casinos (DGC) stated that Law 139-11 established a single tax of 35,000 pesos (£583.15) per year for Dominican lottery outlets.
The clarification came as a response to Fenebanca’s request, which demanded that the government ‘refrain from charging taxes to all owners of Lottery Banks that had registered as part of the regularisation process’.
Fenebanca has pushed back against the Dominican Republic government’s implementation of a single tax of 35,000 pesos per year for lottery outlets, arguing that, as newly registered outlets have not yet been approved by the Consultative Council, they should not pay tax for the 120 day grace period as they had been putting their affairs in order.
But, according to Taba, this pushback equates to a form of blackmail, something he is not taking lightly.
“It is not the first time that you speak of protests in front of the Palace only so that they are not taxed,” Taba wrote in a letter dated September 26.
“Because that is what a large part of you do not want. You want to continue to act like lawless goats. Blaming the Government for non-compliance. Forgetting a principle that says that those who do not fulfil their duties lose the right to make a demand.”
Taba went on to say that, despite the organisation’s participation in meetings to reach an agreement on the new structure of the Dominican Republic Lottery, its complaints had continued.
“What you want is for the Government to forgive you for the multi million debts you have accumulated for years, by not fulfilling your commitments and duties, and that your interest is that the State reduce your taxes.
“You want to present yourselves as victims being part of the disorder, from which many have benefited for more than 11 years.
“Now you want this government, in six or seven months, to solve all the problems, knowing that one of the main problems is yourselves.”
The tax system in the Dominican Republic has been the subject of much debate in recent times with Ricardo Nadal, President of The National Association of Sports Banks, calling for a complete overhaul of the Republic’s existing gambling laws in May after deeming the Government’s action plan to be insufficient.