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Dominican Republic to Impose New Tax SOUTH AMERICA


Dominican Republic will finally begin charging a 1 per cent tax on gross profits on casinos and betting shops, which was first put in place in 2011


Te new tax will be will be payable to the Dominican Tax Office (DGII).


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC LEGISLATION


BRAZIL – The Brazilian Minister for Tourism, Marcelo Álvaro António has met with Melco Resorts & Entertainment Group CEO Lawrence Ho Yau Lung and CEO Larry Ng in Macau in order to present the potential of Brazilian tourism. The meeting took place at the Morpheus Hotel part of the City of Dreams resort in Macau.


Businessmen are interested in the resorts and intend to carry out an innovative project aligned with Brazil. Investors will participate in a technical visit to Brazil at the end of the year to scout out the most important potential destinations such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo as well as cities in the northeast and north. According to Larry Ng, the group is open to working together with the Ministry of Tourism in the development of strategic plans.


“Melco, come to Brazil. We are ready to receive them. I am sure the partnership will be very prosperous. The group will have the security they need to invest in our destinations. I'm sure many will come, “said Minister Alvaro Antonio.


URUGUAY – Codere is analysing the sale of a majority stake in its business in Uruguay or an alliance with a casino operator. Changes to its business operations in Uruguay could include a 'joint venture' with a casino operator in the region or the sale of a non-controlling interest in the market.


However, the company has specified that no agreement has yet been formalized and that no details may yet be revealed. The Spanish company is also in negotiations with the Chilean group Sun Dreams to sell at least 50 per cent of its casinos in Uruguay, which have been valued at €150m.


CHILE – The Chilean Gaming Board (SJC) has issued Circulars N°s 25 and 26— which suspends the obligation of casinos and their annexed services to run in zones where safety conditions for workers and customers can not be guaranteed.


The SJC has also suspended the administrative deadlines for casinos due to the current state of emergency. The suspension will be in effect as long as the state of emergency is in force.


Protests began over a price increase for subway tickets in capital Santiago but have since escalated quickly. Economic inequalities, living costs and rising debt have caused anger in one of the most prosperous and stable democracies in Latin America. A number of cities in Chile have been placed under a state of emergency while protestors have taken to the streets. President Sebastian Piñera has tried to ease tensions by announcing a plan to end a highly unpopular state of emergency and nighttime curfews.


P14 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA


Te government of the Dominican Republic will finally begin charging a 1 per cent tax on gross profits on casinos and betting shops, which was first put in place in 2011. Te new tax will be payable to the Dominican Tax Office (DGII).


Te Explanatory Report and Budget Policy placed by the Government before the National Congress, states that "despite the fact that conditions have changed and all tax liability agents have their operations online and in real time, the authorities have not applied the collection as indicated by the law.”


In addition the document, which contains a section on how the government intends to increase tax collection, indicates that the current failure to pay the tax puts the reputation of the state at risk.


"It (the law) requires the connectivity of the owners of gambling establishments to the computer platform that has been created for such purposes be mandatory and to pay the tax as originally provided in the legislation," the document says.


Gaming Board still Pushing for Independence


Paraguay


Te Paraguayan gaming board (CONAJZAR) is still pushing to become an independent agency. Te Chamber of Deputies is looking at a bill which would convert the board into the National Directorate of Gambling (DINAJZAR) - an autonomous institution. Today the board comes under the control of the Ministry of Finance. According to head of the institution José Antonio Ortiz Báez, deputies have now turned over the new bill to the commission stage for further review.


Two weeks ago members of the Economic Affairs and Legislation commission held a fact finding meeting with both members of the gaming board and members of the industry. A number of issues will need to be dealt with especially


Gaming in the Dominican Republic 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.


Law No. 351, which was the first bill to regulate gaming in the Dominican Republic, states that casinos are primarily a way to attract tourists to the country. As a result casinos may only be present in what it terms “first class” hotels. Te country already has over 47 casinos, more than any other country in the Caribbean. Gaming machines outside of casinos are only permitted in sports betting shops.


when it comes to how gaming revenue will be divided going forwards. Te Department of Social Welfare and Assistance (DIBEN), currently receives 30 per cent of gaming tax revenue. Te remaining share is distributed to the departmental governments (30 per cent), the municipal governments (30 per cent) while the remaining (10 per cent) goes to the Treasury.


Changes are necessary because the board does not have its own budget, but monitors the industry and combats illegal gaming through the Treasury. According to the head of the


board the municipalities do not transfer what they collect (95 per cent) for the operation of the slots that operate in their areas. In addition a number of slot machines work without permission, he said. "A new law gambling law is merited to order, rank and formalize the sector," he said.


CONAJZAR has been lobbying for its own independence for some time. Te board is struggling to cope with the number of illegal gambling halls. Many slots are present in small businesses and bars in several cities and often near educational institutions as well.


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