GAT Caribe: regional gaming industry businessmen, Dominican lawmakers discuss regulatory framework update

GAT Caribe: regional gaming industry businessmen, Dominican lawmakers discuss regulatory framework update

Businessmen from the gaming sector of the Dominican Republic and Colombia joined a group of Dominican congressmen in a meeting held on Thursday during the first day of GAT Expo Caribe 2022. Together, they discussed the New Regulation Project for the Gaming Industry, while the industry event continued today, June 10, on its second and final day at The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club.

The meeting, convened by the National Association of Sports Banks of the Dominican Republic and Congressman Luis Henriquez, “was a great success”, according to the event’s organizers.

The meeting was moderated by the president of the Colombian trade association (Fecoljuegos), Evert Montero Cárdenas, and among the participants were the president of the association of Dominican sports banks, Ricardo Nadal; the CEO of Gaming & Technology Expo, José Aníbal Aguirre; and Dominican congressman Luis Henríquez.

Henríquez arrived at the event accompanied by his colleagues Pedro Mota, Geraldo Casanova, Rosa Hilda Genao, María Mercedes Fernández, Braulio Espinal, Benedicto Hernández, Mercedes Rodríguez, Sócrates Pérez, and Omar Fernández, who in the past was the director of the Directorate of Casinos and Games of Chance within the Ministry of Finance.

En la mañana de hoy se llevó a cabo en el marco de #GATCaribe2022 el Conversatorio sobre el anteproyecto regulatorio de juegos de azar liderado por el diputado Luis Henríquez, al cual asistieron 9 diputados del Congreso Nacional de la República Dominicana y asociaciones.

— @GAT Gaming & Technology Expo (@gat_expo) June 9, 2022

Before an audience made up of legal operators from the Caribbean, exhibitors, and sponsors of the event, the first speaker was Nadal, who highlighted the importance of this “unprecedented and open meeting, of utmost importance, given the crucial moment that demands changes in the regulations that rule the gaming industry in the Dominican Republic”.

“Today is a beautiful day. After many years of attending hundreds of meetings, we see gathered in this precinct a significant number of 10 deputies determined to modify the existing regulation for games of chance in the country,” the sports banks representative stated.


Hoy @Cornazar2 participa de la inauguración del evento GAT CARIBE que se está desarrollando en la ciudad de Punta Cana, estaremos presentes en la agenda académica y exhibición hasta el viernes 10 de junio.

Gracias @gat_expo por su invitación

— Cornazar (@Cornazar2) June 8, 2022

He also highlighted two decrees issued by the Dominican president, Luis Abinader, in which the regularization of gambling was declared of national interest. These legal devices, added Nadal, “require from the legislators a prompt action to comply with the purposes of technological updating and regulation demanded by all the verticals of an industry that has an active base market of 7 million citizens.”

He also said that it is necessary that “betting companies in all gaming verticals within the Dominican Republic” provide “better guarantees and quality services” to the users of the industry. “My dream is to achieve this purpose in order to achieve justice and development”, he emphasized.

Furthermore, Congressman Luis Henríquez welcomed the Forum held at the GAT Expo Caribe to present to industry leaders the motives, content, and benefits of the draft bill regarding a new regulatory framework for the industry, which is currently before the respective commission of the Chamber of Deputies.

The project revolves around the creation of a General Directorate of Gaming including casinos, sports banks, and lotteries, which will be the only regulatory body that unifies the vision and tasks in promoting new technologies in gaming, regulating all the actors that currently play a role in the sector. This has definitely been a very successful dialogue and we are especially grateful for the facilities and welcome that the organizers of GAT Expo Caribe have given us,” Henríquez said.

Para @Fecoljuegos es un gran honor liderar la agenda académica del #GatCaribe2022; agradecemos profundamente a la organización por su confianza y apoyo en la realización de este importante evento. @gat_expo

— Fecoljuegos (@Fecoljuegos) June 9, 2022

Meanwhile, the CEO of Gaming & Technology Expo, José Aníbal Aguirre, closed the forum by expressing his “satisfaction and gratitude” for the realization of this “transcendent” event, given the quality of its participants and the bonds of cooperation and mutual growth that have been created with the institutions and associations of Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and the Latin American region.

Other events of the day

On the first day of GAT Expo Caribe 2022, other conferences and panels were also held under the leadership and coordination of attorneys María Paola Isaza and Iliana Pineda, from V&I Consultores Legales and Fecoljuegos. One of these was in charge of the president of the Colombian federation, Evert Montero, who presented the conference entitled: “The importance of self-regulating advertising and communications in games of chance”.

There was also a panel called “Regulatory experience and challenges for new regulations in the region”, which was led by Liliana Viveros of Betcris Dominicana and the aforementioned lawyers. According to the fair’s organizers, “the panel dealt with the Colombian experience from the institutional point of view and how regulation has a direct effect on the legalization of activities”.

Another presentation was made by the president of Colombia’s National Corporation of Gaming Entrepreneurs (Cornazar), Elizabeth Maya Cano, who spoke about the “Opportunities of Localized Games”, in which she explained in detail “the diagnosis and main current problems, as well as the business opportunities they offer in order to expand their portfolios extending them to the games operated by internet, virtual betting, eSports, and other new applications and entertainment platforms.”

Meanwhile, Cornazar, through its board member Tomás Perner, awarded José Aníbal Aguirre of Gaming & Technology Expo with a plaque “in recognition of his tireless work in favor of the unity and integration of the gaming industry for more than 20 years in Colombia and Latin America, with the organization of fairs, conferences, symposiums, seminars, and expositions.”

The last conference of the day was in charge of MetaMap, whose Senior Enterprise Director, Camila Fernández, presented the benefits of her company specializing in cybersecurity, data validation, and local data connections in all the countries of the region, to ensure transparent operations and avoid fraud.

The first day of GAT Expo Caribe 2022 concluded with a networking event organized by BetConstruct, the main sponsor of the event, with an Open Bar enjoyed by all the participating businessmen.

Victor Arias from Pragmatic Play (left); with José Aníbal Aguirre.

Furthermore, BetCris, Pragmatic Play, Altenar B2B and MetaMap, Cockpit, Gaming, Evolution, Juancito Sport, BetConstruct, IGC Gaming Systems and Solutions, Zataca, and Loteka participated as sponsors and exhibitors.

The second and last day of the fair will also include stands exhibiting roulettes and slots, and offering online platform services. There will also be a Compliance Workshop, a topic suggested by local operators and welcomed by Fecoljuegos, who will make a broad presentation of relevant content on the topic. The main topic will be addressed by the President of the Compliance Officers of Fecoljuegos and executives of the guild.