SBC News Dominican Republic urged to overhaul laws following lottery bank scandal 

Dominican Republic urged to overhaul laws following lottery bank scandal 

The government of the Dominican Republic has been urged to establish a new gambling regulator, run independently from government agencies. 

The proposal has been led by Ricardo Nadal, the President of The National Association of Sports Banks – who has called for a complete overhaul of the Republic’s existing gambling laws.

The regulatory oversight of the gambling sector has come under scrutiny as last year- the operating firm of the National Lottery was found to have falsified $8.5 million in ticket sales.

The embarrassing affair saw the government order a review of the Republic’s ‘lottery bank network’ – state-licensed venues/shops that are allowed to sell lottery and instant game products.

The investigation found multiple instances of fraud and criminality operating across the Dominican lottery bank network of 100,000 venues that were used to falsify ticket sales and evade taxes.

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, the government’s action plan has been deemed inefficient by Ricardo Nadal, representing the interest of the Republic’s licensed and tax-paying gambling venues. 

Nadal has called on the government to ‘reawaken’ its plans to establish a General Directorate of Games of Chance, which have laid dormant for the past eight years at the hands of the National Congress.

Operated in the interest of tax-paying businesses, a new regulator would be run by a ‘council of public and private sector individuals, with expertise in gambling that will diminish corruption’.

Reforming the Republic’s gambling laws, Nadal further called for a complete overhaul of existing tax policies that charge a monthly blanket on individual gambling tables and machines operated by licensed venues

Nadal 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 expressed. 

“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.

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