On April 5, 2022, the Ministry of Finance of the Dominican Republic through the Directorate of Casinos and Games of Chance, issued a resolution 172-2022, according to which the sale of lottery draws and other games of chance through mobile devices is prohibited. This includes verifones, tablets, cellular phones, laptops, and any other technological device, which is connected to the Internet and is not a computer, which is permanently installed in the lottery bank, point of sale, or agency.
The resolution of the gambling authority further provides a grace period of 15 days to the owners of lottery banks and electronic lottery concessionaires to remove from their premises the mobile devices, which could be used for the sale of lottery draws and other games.
The lottery banks, concessionaires, and their partners will not be allowed to offer lottery games remotely after the end of the grace period. Those who fail to comply with the new regulations will face the following sanctions:
- The bank, point of sale, or agency of the lottery banking owners or electronic lottery concessionaires and consortiums will be closed and their lottery and business licenses will be permanently revoked.
- Those individuals who are engaged in the sale of street raffles will be charged with violation of the Dominican laws against money laundering and financing of terrorism.
- The natural or legal persons, who develop or provide software services, as well as maintenance, hosting, operation, or marketing services related to the illegal remote sale of lottery games, will be subject to prosecution for high technology crimes and offenses.
Asodrepol against the New Resolution
The Association of Riferos in Pro of Legalization (Asodrepol) called the new resolution “a setback”. Its president, Obispo Carvajal, commented that with the new regulations the Dominican Ministry of Finance forces the gambling sector to use computers, which are outdated.
Carvajar reminded that in 2019 the Dominican Ministry of Finance made the mistake to force the sector to work with “archaic computers that arrived from abroad already used”. This resolution showed that the Dominican government was not aware of the gambling sector’s situation and reality. Later in 2019, the said resolution was revoked.
However, various sectors as well as the Dominican society approve the resolution banning the remote sale of lottery games issued by the Directorate of Casinos and Games of Chance.
Dominican Ministry of Finance’s Response
The Dominican Ministry of Finance stated that it had taken that decision because of multiple complaints made by lottery banking owners, dealers, and other gambling establishments, which reported about sales through mobile devices by the staff of the said establishments without the knowledge and permission of the owner.