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Licensing

Despite that fact that obtaining a gambling license is a complex process involving research and certification, all reputable casinos possess an online gambling license.

Online Gambling License in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean and shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Even though the Dominican Republic is not considered a traditional offshore jurisdiction and a taxation haven it offers beneficial business opportunities for international companies. The country's taxation regime is based on the territorial principle and is very attractive to a wide range of businesses.

Dominican Gambling Market

The gaming market in the country is closely related to the tourism industry which turned the country in a real casino resort. The availability of gambling in the country attracted around 4.4m tourists in 2009. Currently there are more than 60 land-based casinos in the Dominican Republic.

Furthermore, the country's domestic market involves more than 24 000 lottery agents and a variety of electronic lotteries introduced in 2008.

Sports betting is another gambling field that proves its strong and competitive positions in the Dominican Republic.

The gambling industry in the country was significantly affected by the tax law approved in 2011 as a result of the international commitments with the IMF. The law is aimed at controlling the expansion of the gambling market and imposing restrictions on new sports betting and lottery agencies.

Initially the Dominican gambling market was targeted at foreign tourists. However, the increasing internal demand forced the authorities to open the market for local residents. To compete with the Loteria Nacional a lot of illegal privately held lotteries and sports betting agencies appeared in the country. In 1999 the authorities recognized the necessity for licensing such operators for moderate fees. Additionally in 2006 sports betting operators were allowed to offer their customers to play slot machines.

Gambling Market Supervision

Casino Department of the Dominican Ministry of Finance was entitled to regulate and guide all operations of gambling service providers. This body is authorized to grant casino licenses in the Dominican Republic and issue permissions for installation, transfer, importation, overhauling and maintenance of slot machines.

If the slots are operated by the sports betting agencies, their activity is also regulated by the Sports, Physical Education and Recreation Secretariat jointly with the Casino Department.

Lottery operations are governed by the Loteria Nacional, a regulatory body that is also in charge of issuing special licenses for interactive lotteries.

The primary source for regulating gambling in Dominican Republic is the Law 351 that dates back to 1964. Under this law the casino gaming was deemed as the source for attracting tourists to the country. Further essential amendments were introduced to the Law 351 in 1965, 1998 and 2006.

Online Gambling Licenses in the Dominican Republic

Originally the Dominican Republic authorities were entitled to license online sports betting services only. However, no new licenses of the kind were issued to the sportsbook companies operating from outside of the country since 1996.

Following the latest trend of liberalizing the attitude to online gambling legalization in 2006 the Ministry of Finance of the Dominican Republic was granted the right to issue licenses for games of chance, including electronic establishments of games of chance, pursuant to paragraph 29 of Article 3 of Law 494-06.

However, till February 2011 there were no announcements about any iGaming operator that was granted a gambling license by the Ministry of Finance. It might have been caused by a time-consuming procedure for the Ministry of Finance to determine the qualification requirements for the licensees. Nevertheless, as for the date of passing the law there were no vivid impediments for the international iGaming companies to become eligible for the online gambling license in the Dominican Republic. In fact, the laws known as Ley 139-11 and Ley 494-06 laid the basis for attracting multinational igaming operators to the Dominican Republic.

The law (Ley) 139-11 involves the amendments in terms of the general fiscal system and in particular it deals with:

  • increase in the corporate annual income tax;
  • changes in the fiscal system that applies to the casinos and other establishments offering gambling services.

The most significant change in the fiscall legislation regards the increasing tax rate from 25% to 29% for all companies in all industries generating Dominican source income. The law also provides the increased taxes for casinos operating in the country, based on the tables in operation and a tax on gross sales of slot machines.

Telephone and online gaming operations were also deemed as subject to prior registration requirements and a tax on gross revenue.

For more information please visit our How to apply section or contact us for a free consultation.

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