A new legislative proposal with the scope of amending the main piece of legislation on gambling in Romania – Government Emergency Ordinance no. 77/2009 (“GEO 77/2009“) is under debate in the Romanian Parliament.

The legislative proposal includes several provisions with the aim to ease access of gambling operators on the market of remote gambling. We would note the motion to introduce three distinct classes of licenses to operate remote gambling. The first class of licence is granted to remote gambling operators, the annual license tax ranging depending on the turnover of the operator. The second class of license is awarded to moral persons involved in the field of remote gambling, as well as to conformity assessment organizations, while the third class of license is awarded to the operator of remote lottery, which constitutes state monopoly (i.e. the National Company “Romanian Lottery S.A.”). Also, a change concerning the length of the license to operate gambling from 5 to 10 years is envisaged . Fiscal easement in what concerns both the level of taxes and authorisation fees but noticeably in what concerns taxation of gambling revenues at the level of players is also considered.

Although the legislative process does not benefit of an adequate level of transparency, we found from public sources that the project reached the Chamber of Deputies and that the Budget Commission of the Chamber of Deputies has provided a positive report to the law proposal. Moreover, the industry has high expectations that the amendments will be adopted subsequent to the Romanian Presidential elections, to take place in November 2014.

The optimistic approach is based on the fact that the Romanian decision makers should be the first interested party in the improvement of the actual legislation, given the potential revenue to the State budget that Romania is currently missing on.  The present form of the amendments are meant to remedy the flaws of the gambling regulation which isolates Romania, as no license to operate online gambling has been issued so far .

We trust the current initiative, as opposed to the previous attempts of amending the law in January 2014, will be a successful one .