Romania has made online casinos and other gambling activities legal since 2010. However, moves were not made to ensure that the industry grew. Citizens of the country blamed the gambling authorities in Romania for the situation in the online casino industry. Romanian gambling authorities didn’t want to update the old-fashioned laws to become the same as the online gambling laws in Europe and the remaining part of the world. According to Bogdan Casino, this became the main reason for the absence of growth in the online gambling industry.
The initial step
In 2007, Romania became part of the European Union, which further implies that the online casino laws can be practiced only after approval is obtained from the European Commission. Operators who wanted to become involved in gambling activities encountered several obstacles in Romania. Even though offline gambling activities were considered legal, there were no gambling officials or authorities to give these operators licenses. That problem was solved in 2013 when an authority called Romanian National Gambling Office was created, and moves were made to establish rules and regulate online gambling activities.
However, the regulations were considered too limiting because regulators also asked that all online casino operators who are licensed operators must have a representative who lives in Romania. This condition set by the regulators was said to be a transgression of the free market environment the European Commission was struggling to create. Even after the countries who belong to the European Union are allowed to make their own rules, they must agree with the rules placed by the European Commission. Besides that, the European Commission condemned Romania for the corrupt practices that interfere in expanding the online gambling industry.
The European Commission
Members of the European Commission advised that the limiting laws should be canceled and that foreign online casino operators should participate in the Romanian gambling industry. Following the new rules, every online platform that provides gambling goods and services must have the operator’s name and address. They must also have details about the operator’s license and a statement stating that under-aged individuals aren’t allowed to engage in online gambling. There should also be clear information about the dangers of excessive gambling and how to stop gambling addiction. Furthermore, every online game’s rules, payment details, privacy, and terms and conditions must be displayed. The operators must also assist the players and free training in becoming good at a particular game. Regulating Romania’s authorities made a law that aims to transform the online casino industry in Romania to another level.
Rules & taxes
The new rules are created to change the taxes online gaming operators pay, the type of payment options available, and lastly, the taxes players are to pay should be determined by the type of games they play. Presently, players who reside in Romania are allowed by law to engage in a large variety of games, considered to be games of chance such as fixed-odds betting, slot machines, matched betting, and other online games. Besides the taxes, the new law changes strive to establish restrictive measures to prevent gambling addiction and participation of young ineligible people in gambling activities. To achieve these goals, a special Foundation was created. The members’ top aim is to ensure the measures are concerning the recommendations of the European Committee for Standardization.
However, online gambling changes are regarded to be the most necessary ones that would allow foreign gambling operators to become successful in the Romanian gambling industry. Besides the licensing fees, another tax exists, known as an “annual authorization fee.” Offline gambling operators are to pay this tax that makes up 16% of their total gaming revenue. The annual authorization fee is 2% and 5%, respectively, of the total gaming revenue for operators of video lottery games and televised bingo. Each license is active for ten years, while the old laws ensured five years of validity. The new law clearly explains the kind of technical requirements offline gambling operators have to provide.
Firstly, the provider’s central IT system, where all information about the players, the fees, and the winning is saved, has to be sent and stored in a mirror and backup server in Romania, and the information should be stored for five years. The ONJN Monitoring Committee must permit the special software on which the games of chance are run. Activities of the players must be recorded through special communication tools and must display the gambling period’s time and duration. The information has to be stored for five years. Each online gambling provider must ensure that a company representative who lives in Romania must represent the company when needed.