Photo: Loteria Dominican Republic
Dominicans spend RD$70 million (almost $2 million USD) every day on lottery tickets of one sort or another, and there are twice as many places to purchase a lottery ticket than there were five years ago.
According to the Listin Diario, Wilson de los Santos, the head of the Dominican Federation of Lottery Agencies (Fenabanca), there are 35,000 places to buy these, and an estimated RD$70 million is played every day.
The real gambling volume is higher because this total does not include illegal numbers games or the scratch cards that are sold in every colmado in the country are accounted for.
In spite of higher taxation on games of chance and the lottery sales points, play has steadily increased over the years. In 2009, two new electronic lotteries entered the market, Loteka and Loto Real, which compete with the National Lottery and the International Electronic Lottery (Leidsa), which started in 1997. Each of the four lotteries has a daily drawing and there are at least 19 options for playing.
While there is a law that says that there should be at least 400 meters between lottery sales points, this is frequently violated, especially in the barrios.