Dominican Republic Blacklists Online Gambling Sites

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Apr/08/2024

The Dominican Republic was once among the very first offshore hosts for call center sportsbooks catering mostly to the US.  It's where BetCRIS originated way back in 1986, under another name of course as CRIS was named after its current home of Costa Rica.

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Back in those days the federales would come knocking in the middle of the night.  The bookmakers would pay them and hopefully they were off on their merry way.

There was once a hilarious story of a sportsbook owner who had to flee the country in the middle of the night, well hilarious just as long as you weren't him.

So folks might be surprised to learn that one of the industry's first bona fide billionaires, Ruth Parasol of PartyGaming fame, honed her skills in the Dominican Republic back in the late 1990's running the online casino site Starluck Casino.

And Canada's first full service online casino, Sports Interaction, also got its start in the DR.

Today it seems the DR has zero tolerance even for the so-called "regulated" gambling sites.

On Monday it was announced that 41 gaming sites would be blacklisted in the DR, among them Betway, Bet365, 888Sport, and William Hill.

The Dirección de Casinos y Juegos de Azar (DCJA), which is part of the Ministry of Finance, has set up a framework to begin regulating the activity.

They first attempted this process back in 2006 with the first license issued in 2011 to Amaya, PokerStars’ owner at the time.  To date, they remain the only licensed gambling site in the Dominican Republic.

The cost of obtaining a casino license is $346,000, while sports betting licenses will be priced at $260,000.

Those companies looking to operate in the country will be required to be registered with the Office of National Contributions and the General Directorate of National Tax along with a .do registered domain.

Those operating without a license will be in violation of the nation's money laundering laws.

The DR has mostly lost out when compared to a handful of other Caribbean nations like Antigua and Curacao, both considered among the leading licensing jurisdictions in the online gambling space.

Once ranked among the poorest nations in the Western hemisphere, the Dominican Republic is now considered an upper-middle class country that ranks 80 out of 189 countries in the 2021-22 Human Development IndexThat being said, the country’s standard of living is approximately one-third that of the United States.

It's unclear what impact, if any, the new blacklist will have on most operators.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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