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Romania Plans Higher Fees and Stricter Demands for Gambling Operators

Romania’s government has reiterated its desire to impose higher licensing fees and stricter operating demands from gambling operators . 



According to the Ministry of Finance ’s newly published draft of emergency ordinances meant to instill stricter regulations on gambling activities, alcohol will no longer be sold in gambling venues with the exception of casinos. 



The same emergency ordinances that have been sent to Parliament members for further debate and vote throughout the month mention that all gambling licensees will need to be domiciled in the country and pay their taxes there.  



The Newly Announced Fees



According to data from the National Gaming Office of Romania (ONJN) , starting January 1, 2025 , all licensed gambling businesses will have to reserve a minimum of €1 million ($1.05 million) for licensing provisions , independent of their income.



The annual licensing fees will be set at €200,000 ($210,000) for lottery games and bets with fixed odds, €150,000 ($157,800) for slot-machine games, bingo games played through TV network systems, counter bets, and casino characteristic gambling, €65,000 ($68,400) for mutual bets, €25,000 ($26,300) for poker club games, and €15,000 ($15,780) for bingo games played in dedicated gaming rooms.



Brick-and-mortar casinos and larger retail gaming operators will need to cover individual licensing fees that will be determined based on their annual income. 



The Ministry of Finances has also asked for tougher tax collection enforcement to be imposed on businesses, asking operators to send their tax contributions to the ONJN within five business days of the subsequent month of collection. This August , the ONJN revoked Betting Frenzy ’s license over $704,000 in unpaid gambling taxes .



The Need for Problem Gambling Treatment and Prevention Programs 



Marcel Bolos, the country’s Minister of Finance , also spoke about the real stories behind the high numbers of gambling addicts, many of which “are stories of suffering, lost hope and broken families.” 



Bolos acknowledged the government’s responsibility to oversee the good of every citizen of the country, thus explaining the need for the revenues to be amassed in the collective interest of citizens, and “not for the benefit of privileged individuals or groups.”



The minister further stated that part of the money will be used for the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction, reaching a “specially designated fund” that will support activities and programs aimed at these purposes. 



The same proposal endorsed tougher restrictions on gambling advertising , including a ban on “unsolicited online adverts” and the promotion of wagering incentives like jackpots, bonuses, and promotions.



At the start of September , Romania’s Senate passed a draft bill asking for changes and additional restrictions to be brought to street gambling and betting venues.

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