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Dominican Republic – New certification programme to combat money laundering in Dominican Republic

By - 9 August 2018

The Association of Commercial Banks (ABA) has reported that it has introduced the first Certified Anti-Money Laundering Certification focused on casinos and other gambling companies. The programme is part of its policy of establishing a training program focused on the specific needs of those companies now obligated to meet certain requirements under the new Law for the Prevention of Money Laundering.

ABA reported that it had brought the first International Anti-Money Laundering Certification to the Dominican Republic focused on the casino sector and gambling companies, as part of its policy of establishing a training program focused on the specific needs of the gaming industry, which is now obligated to meet certain requirements under new regulations.
The programme is based on an agreement between ABA, the Florida International Bankers Association (FIBA) and the Florida International University (FIU). Thirty sector representatives took part in the new certification process. ABA added that the syllabus was taught by international specialist Julio Aguirre and was designed to fit in within the framework of the characteristics and profile of the local gaming sector, which will allow the participant to understand the new requirements and criteria for the prevention of money laundering.

“This international certification is part of the Association’s efforts to contribute to the training of the country’s human resources in the prevention of money laundering,” ABA said.

As part of the program, the participants learned more about the mechanisms of prevention and control when it comes to the carrying out of due diligence, the internal control systems applicable to casinos, bingos, draws, lotteries and sports betting as well as possible warning signs and the reporting of suspicious operations amongst other topics.

The government is making progress when it comes to tightening government scrutiny over the industry. The new Anti-money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act 155-17 law was passed in June 2017 replacing the Anti-money Laundering Act 72-02 of June 7, 2002, to allow for a more adequate, coherent and contemporary legal framework and keep it up to date with new international standards. The new law aims to regulate more money laundering and terrorist financing activities according to the latest international guidelines and to comply with international standards.

In May 2017, Presidency Minister of the Dominican Republic, Gustavo Montalvo, clarified that betting and lottery games would not be excluded from within the scope of new laws on money laundering. The official explained that it would not only be casinos which would be legally required to meet with new anti money laundering measures but also those involved in the operation of sports betting and lotteries as well.

Gaming is regulated by three major gaming laws. Law No.351 which was passed in 1964, Law No.96-88 which was passed in 1988 and Law No.29-06 which was passed in 2006. Broadly speaking Law No.315 allowed casino gaming in the Dominican Republic. Law No. 96-88 allowed casinos to house slot machines in order to further boost revenues for the state and Law No.29-06 significantly increased the tax burden on casinos and the gaming industry. It also permitted slot machines in sports betting shops. Gaming laws are also frequently amended primarily in order to raise taxes on the industry.

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