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Romania eyes new €1m licensing fee framework for gambling

The government of Romania has made clear its intentions to stand by its plans to impose higher fees and operating demands on gambling businesses.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance published a draft of ‘emergency ordinances which aim to apply “stricter rules on regulating gambling activities”.

As requested by the Ministry, the emergency ordinances have been forwarded to Parliament to be debated and voted on in October.

Headline changes see the Ministry endorse new licensing fees, the prohibition of alcohol sales in all gambling venues (except casinos), and the requirement for gambling licensees to have a domiciled presence in Romania. 

On licensing, the draft recommends the government to impose a new fee structure across all gambling verticals. Annual licensing fees will be set at:

  • Online gambling: €500,000
  • Lotto games: €200,000
  • Mutual bets: €65,000
  • Fixed odds bets: €200,000
  • Counter bets: €150,000
  • Casino characteristic gambling: €150,000
  • Poker club characteristic games: €25,000
  • Slot-machine games: €150,000
  • Bingo in gaming rooms: €15,000
  • Bingo games via TV network systems: €150,000

Land-based casinos and larger retail operators will have individual licensing fees imposed by the Ministry calculated “based on operators’ annual income”.

ONJN, the National Gaming Office of Romania, has been instructed that from 1 January 2025, all licensed businesses must reserve a minimum of €1m for licensing provisions “regardless of the income level”.

The Ministry further recommends a tougher enforcement on tax collection, in which businesses must submit tax contributions to the ONJN within “five working days of the subsequent month of collection”.

Mirroring European counterparts, the draft recommends extending the supervisory powers of the ONJN monitoring licensed operators via a ‘centralised database’ registering the details of gambling consumers.  

The proposal concluded with the Ministry endorsing ‘restrictions on advertising’ which have been previously outlined by other Romanian departments. 

Advertising restrictions include a ban on “unsolicited online adverts” and a ban on the promotion of incentives to wager such as bonuses, promotions and jackpots.

 

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