Dominican Republic to Ban Lottery Sales through Mobile Devices

Dominican Republic to Ban Lottery Sales through Mobile Devices

Posted on: April 12, 2022, 05:51h. 

Last updated on: April 12, 2022, 05:51h.

Erik Gibbs

It is now more difficult to access lottery options in the Dominican Republic. The small Caribbean nation is restricting their sale and banning all transactions from mobile devices.

Dominican Republic lottery
A typical Dominican Republic lottery point of sale. These and other similar sales locations are facing new rules governing their operations. (Image: Dady Chery)

The world is moving online – online shopping, online gaming and even online healthcare. However, not everything is ready to take the leap. It’s sometimes better to take baby steps.

There are now plenty of options for purchasing lottery tickets online. This is a response to the changing commercial environment and the need to make it easier for consumers to make purchases. That is going to become much more difficult in the Dominican Republic following the introduction of new laws. The reforms come following a major lottery scandal from last year.

DR Axes Online Lottery Sales

The Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Finance, through the Directorate of Casinos and Gambling (DCG), has prohibited the sale of lottery draws and other games of chance through mobile devices. The ban applies to everything mobile – tablets, cell phones, laptops and any other portable Internet-connected device.

The measure covers any equipment other than a computer that is installed in a fixed way in the lottery kiosk, point of sale or agency operating with permission from the DCG. Lottery banking owners, partners and electronic lottery concessionaires will have 15 days to adapt to the new regulations.

Violators could face stiff penalties if they don’t comply. The owner of a lottery bank or a concessionaire will lose its lottery license, as well as its business license. Those individuals who sell legal street raffles face charges of being in violation of anti-money-laundering laws. If an IT geek offers a work-around, even something as simple as an operating system clone, he or she faces prosecution.

Revamping the Lottery

The Permanent Finance Commission of the Chamber of Deputies is studying two bills that have to do with the regulation of lottery operations in the Dominican Republic. It’s almost a complete overhaul of the country’s lottery operations.

The first initiative is the one created by the General Directorate of Casinos, Lotteries, Concessionaire, Gambling, Draws and Promotions. Presented by Deputy Luís Henríquez, the bill’s article 85 of the bill would prohibit for 20 years the issuance of new licenses to operate lottery kiosks, sports kiosks or casinos. The decree of the current plan, on the other hand, suggests only two years of prohibition.

The other project proposes to regulate the days of lottery game draws. Specifically, it designates Mondays and Thursdays as target dates.

The process of regularizing lottery kiosks and other points of sale, which report to the National Lottery administrator, Teófilo Tabar, is progressing in the country. The changes come following a scandal involving former lottery officials.

Theft Leads to Changes

On May 1 of last year, a lottery draw seemed a little suspicious to authorities. An investigation, later dubbed Operation 13, discovered that the then-administrator of the National Lottery, Luis Maisichell Dicent, conspired with William Lizandro Rosario Ortiz to rig the draw. At the time, Ortiz was the head of an organization representing lottery retailers.

They were able to manipulate the lottery draw results to secure a prize of $8.5 million. However, their taste of being millionaires was fleeting since they were arrested shortly after.

Dicent is still waiting for his day in court. He has been in pre-trial confinement since his arrest and faces a preliminary hearing next week.