Kieran O’Keeffe, Secretary General of EUROMAT: “Romania is an exciting market!”

O'Keeffe, Kieran

Because the second edition of the Euromat Gaming Summit will take place this spring in Barcelona, Spain, on 26th May 2016, we considered that it’s an opportune time to discuss with Mr. Kieran O’Keeffe, Secretary General of EUROMAT about this event and more.

Mr. Kieran O’Keeffe you are EUROMAT’s Secretary General. What are the main responsibilities of you in this organization?

My role is to work with the European industry to make sure that we have a unified voice on major regulatory issues and that we’re doing everything we can to educate decision makers about the positive economic contribution that our sector makes.

Which are the main topics which you will discuss in 26th May in Barcelona at the EUROMAT Gaming Summit?

The EUROMAT Gaming Summit is a unique proposition in that it mixes discussion about commercial trends like convergence or market developments like electronic payment with serious regulatory analysis. We’ll also be joined this year by the European Commission’s top official on gambling policy as well as a panel session with regulators from across Europe.

Which are the most important goals of EUROMAT in the next period of time?

To help our members campaign for a simplified business environment which gives them regulatory certainty. This is a perfectly normal expectation that any industry has of those that regulate it. Across Europe the gaming machine – an already high regulated and taxed product – is being squeezed between ever higher restrictions and taxes. Failure by governments to shift their approach will only harm the player by benefiting illegal gaming products.

EUROMAT Gaming Summit is at the second edition of this event. Do you want to transform this manifestation in a tradition?

Yes I think there is a need for an event which is focused purely on the European gaming machine market. With markets in our industry evolving so quickly businesses get a lot of value from coming together to learn from each other and experts in the field.

I don’t know if you aware about the situation of our betting market regarding the issue of the taxation of the income from gaming in the Romanian Fiscal Institution (ANAF) vision. What is the position of the EUROMAT in this matter?

We support the position of our Romanian members. European Governments should ensure that tax principles and accounting practices are consistent. At a general level, particularly when it comes to tax, our sector is too often subject to arbitrary changes. Uncertainty in the tax system makes it difficult for any business to plan and invest and our industry is no different in that respect.

Why it’s important to be present at EUROMAT Gaming Summit in this year?

Anybody attending will get real insight into the thinking of customers, colleagues in the industry and regulators from diverse European markets. This makes it a unique gathering that has real value for anybody attending.

Do you think that EUROMAT can help the national members to face the problems of them in the front of their states? With the other words, how can you help your members to respond in the front of the National States abuse, through increase the taxes unjustified or closing the markets from political reasons?

We always support our members when they face national challenges. Members value the ability to be able to gather information and insight from their colleagues across Europe to understand how other national industries and regulators have dealt with similar issues.

In the end of this interview, please send a message to all the operators and the Romanian industry in generally. Thank you.

Romania is an exciting market. It’s important that you’re part of the debate in Barcelona on the 26th of May so we look forward to welcoming you at the Hotel Majestic.

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