Legislative approval

El Salvador ratifies agreement with Canada to create its National Electronic Lottery

Legislative session in El Salvador.
Reading time 1:43 min

The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador approved Friday an agreement with the Canadian government to launch a new electronic lottery. Through this new initiative, El Salvador is expected to be able to collect additional funds to support municipalities and invest in the execution of health and education programs. 

Lawmakers placed 64 votes in favor of the proposal, four against, and 11 abstentions. The electronic lottery draw game will be added to the existing portfolio on offer from the National Charity Lottery (LNB, for its acronym in Spanish). The Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) will be in charge of both the implementation and the operation of the new service. The original proposal was presented by LNB President Javier Milián Velasquez.

Ana Figueroa, deputy and president of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that this agreement would allow El Salvador "to strengthen its diplomatic ties and expand in the world of technology"; and added that this agreement has as its ultimate goal "to improve education and health for both countries."

Of the total income, 10% will go to the municipalities to carry out works that benefit the population. Another 10% will be given to lottery vendors and distributed to strengthen other government institutions, while the remaining amount will be used for public health, education and social assistance projects.

Lawmakers pointed out that the introduction of the Electronic National Lottery will not represent any sort of cost for the Government of El Salvador, as the implementation operation itself will be overseen by the CCC.

Raúl Chamagua, a deputy from El Salvador, stated that the Foreign Relations Commission aimed to ratify this agreement, since it is expected to provide a benefit to the people overall and would help modernize the lottery as well. He reassured that the agreement has as its main goal to "combat poverty and generate social wellbeing."

The CCC is mandated by the government to facilitate international trade on behalf of Canadian industry, particularly with governments of foreign countries. CCC supports the growth of international trade by helping Canadian exporters gain access to foreign government procurement markets.

The latest announcement could herald further changes which may expand the scope of El Salvador's LNB. In December 2021, El Salvador’s Ministry of Finance presented a new law to the Legislative Assembly which would give the LNB the right to both oversee and run sports betting and online casino games nationwide.

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