Tag Archives: Online

To Cash Out or not?

cash out

By Valentin Macovei

We try to make clear for the bettors once and for all the subject of closing bets before time!

Perhaps you have ever wondered why betting houses offer the Cash Out feature. Of course, there are several reasons why most operators who respect themselves have already included this feature on online betting platform. One of them might be that they wanted to align to the competition in order not to lose their existing users. The argument is as relevant as it can be, because the function is already very fashionable and it was clear that most top online betting houses had to align, but certainly it is not the only reason for which a betting house would make such a move.

Another reason is that players are more likely to use the feature to their own detriment on a long term, especially if they do not follow a clear strategy for using it. In other words, through the Cash Out feature, the betting house gives you one more opportunity to make a wrong decision and to question your decisions.

And the list does not end here: operators increase their winning margin whenever a player closes the bet. Basically, if the operator has a 95% payout, and you place a bet and then you close it – by basically playing a counter-selection – it’s like giving him twice that 5%; in the long run, it really matters, it feels. If bettors closed all winning bets placed, the winning margin of operators would simply double.

However, let’s not go to extremes because this feature also gives users a few benefits. Players can cover without having to invest any more money. It often happens that bettors do not have the necessary funds to counter – a situation it is never ideal to reach, but, unfortunately, it happens quite often.

The Cash Out function can be extremely useful for bettors when they place a wrong bet. Unlike offline betting houses accepting the cancellation of tickets placed up to 5 minutes ago, online played tickets cannot be canceled and, in these situations, betting closure allows the recovery of the investment almost entirely.

At the same time, this option facilitates the implementation of some online betting strategies. One of the most popular game methods, based on the Cash Out function, is that based on betting the Over 1.5 goals. The whole idea behind this strategy is for the bettor to identify ongoing matches that had high initial chances of ending with at least two or three scored goals, in which the score has not yet been opened in the first half-hour.

Once the stake for the bet has increased, between minutes 30 and 40, the player is to bet the Over 1.5 goals and then close the bet as soon as the score on the table changes. As long as the matches are carefully selected, as a result of an analysis and not by chance, this strategy promises small and quick winnings. This is just one of the many sports betting strategies that are based on betting, but there are many other interesting methods.

Although the function itself may be useful, we must be aware that its introduction would never have occurred if it did not increase the profits of the agencies. Let’s think: before this option was launched, how many times did the players bet against their betting? The vast majority of the passionate, very few times! Today, things have changed and the function is used very often.

The problem is that, now, it seems that this feature is made too available to us, and, for this reason, many gamblers are basically guided to use it more often than necessary. Think about the hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds that have been lost by those who made Cash Out on Leicester two seasons ago! There are even testimonials of some bettors who say that they cannot actually wait for a bet to settle in a positive way because they call Cash Out every time.

In addition, some operators also introduced a partial Cash Out feature, which allows a part of the initial played bet stake to be closed. This variant seems to push the undefined bettors from behind to act: even if they do not close the bet, they retain for themselves a part of the stake and leave a sum to be played for the sake of suspense. As much as it is true that betting agencies do not want any of their clients to lose their home and remain homeless because of gambling, it is also true that operators shall never launch and promote facilities that shall decrease their profits.

The most disadvantageous thing for a player is not to have a fixed closure betting strategy and to make Cash Out completely chaotic. In the long run, such an approach changes even more sports betting into gambling or better say in gambling where the house has an insurmountable advantage. For players looking to achieve a long-term profit, it is best not to ever turn to this feature.

The Online Gambling Taxation Framework Is Functional. Can It Be Improved?

by Alexandru MĂNUCU, Tax Deputy Manager at Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații Tax

Thanks to the efforts made from 2015 to 2016 to adjust gambling organization and taxation laws, Romania has become an attractive jurisdiction both for gambling operators and for gamblers.

Currently, the functional legislative conditions for remote gambling allow the Romanian state to capitalise the increasing popularity of online gambling. However, Romania must also be competitive by reference to the jurisdictions that have greater experience in the field, particularly states that also updated their taxation mechanisms at the same pace as the legislative amendments. It is obvious that over the last decade, the gambling industry has become one the most profitable global industries and it is an important source of revenues for those states. Romania could also benefit therefrom.

Currently, one of the biggest drawbacks is that the access of new operators to the remote gambling market is restricted. Practically, the opportunity offered by Law No. 124/2015 whereby stakeholders were guaranteed exemption from criminal and tax liability for the previous period provided that they complied with the new authorisation requirements is already a matter of the past.

In this context, the organic growth of the online gambling market can be encouraged only by assessing and adjusting the existing tax conditions, so that they would become more attractive both to organisers and gamblers alike.

The Existing Tax Conditions and How to Improve Them

Of course, the actual taxation rate continues to be a determining factor in order to establish to what extent gamblers are inclined to consider a tribute to be fair. However, the progressive rates in force, of 1% (for amounts of up to RON 66,760), 16% (for amounts ranging from RON 66,750 to RON 445,000 inclusively) and respectively 25% (for amounts in excess of RON 445,000), applicable to the gross income consisting in gamblers’ withdrawals from online accounts are not prohibitive in any way. Moreover, it is precisely such rates which determined professional players to move their tax residence to Romania, in order to benefit from these tax conditions.

However, in practice, the fulfilment of tax liabilities which are generally accepted as more than reasonable proves to be problematic. More precisely, the beneficiaries of revenues from remote gambling are bound to annually submit a tax statement (namely Statement 200), which would include all the revenues from this activity until 25th May of the following year.

In parallel, an online gambling organiser/ payer of revenues is bound to send information to each beneficiary regarding each gross income received by the latter during the financial year, until the last day of February of the current year for the previous year.

By this deadline, organisers must also submit in their turn an informative tax statement (namely Statement 205) for the previous year, where each gross income would be highlighted for each taxpayer.

For gamblers, the fulfilment of the declarative obligation consists in using the statements received from the gambling organisers on whose platform they obtained revenues in the previous year for preparing the tax statement. Once filled out, Statement 200 must be submitted to the relevant office of the National Agency for Tax Administration (Romanian: Agenția Naționala de Administrație Fiscală ANAF). The taxpayer has almost three months for the whole process (from the end of February, when the taxpayer is supposed to receive the statements on the withdrawals from operators to 25th May, which is the deadline for submitting the annual statement). Of course, one should also take into account the profile of this type of gambler, who prefers to gamble in a familiar environment instead of going to a gambling/ casino room. Certainly, going to the tax authorities to submit Statement 200 is not one of his/her priorities.

On the other hand, although organisers are  supposed to have the necessary resources to comply with the declarative obligations, they encounter technical obstacles. Statement 205 is unable to accommodate the volume of data which gambling operators have to report, as it allows the registration of maximum 500 payments on the form or up to 10,000 in an appendix thereto. However, the number of individual withdrawals carried out in one year exceeds by far 100,000 for each of the operators authorised to carry out their activity in Romania.  Thus, both the operators and the authorities have found year after year compromise solutions for which taxpayers allocated additional resources (such as the submission of appendices in hard copy with the annual statement of withdrawals for 2015 or the configuration of a specific type of electronic document which the computer system of ANAF would be able to read).

As far as the substance is concerned, these obligations aim at double checking the voluntary compliance of online gamblers. In the unrealistic assumption that 100% of them diligently declare their revenues from the previous year by 25th May, the authorities must engage in their turn considerable resources to issue and send the related taxation decisions.  Once they are sent, taxpayers have 60 calendar days to pay their tax liabilities. Therefore, in the best-case scenario, the tax related to a withdrawal made on the last day of the previous year reaches the state’s treasury in 7 months. In practice, this period is likely to exceed one year.

Starting from the premise that all the three stakeholders (the state, the online gambling operators and the participants) have time and resources to lose in order to ensure the payment of tax liabilities that they all consider to be fair, there is also the question of adjusting the taxation mechanism.

In line with other opinions expressed by the stakeholders, we believe that a first improvement that could be made regarding the tax treatment applicable to the revenues obtained by gamblers from online gambling activities is the introduction of rules on income tax withholding. Practically, such a measure would render consistent the taxation mechanism for all gambling revenues obtained by Romanian residents, since currently revenues obtained in the offline environment are taxed by withholding (except for revenues obtained at poker festivals, for which such withholding measures could also be applied).

WIN – WIN – WIN

In this way, Romania would move even closer to European jurisdictions that have a tradition in facilitating access to online gambling, such as the UK, Denmark or Malta, where fiscal liabilities exclusively fall under the responsibility of organisers (gamblers’ earnings are not subject to taxation, the fees are paid by organisers and, as applicable, by reference to the amounts gambled when placing the bets).

Of course, in such case, the tax on the income earned in Romania would remain an obligation of the participants, but the amounts actually received by them would be net amounts, the related fees already being retained and subsequently transferred to the state budget by operators. This nuance can be easily disregarded by the income beneficiary, as long as organisers deal with the relationship with the tax authorities.

The tax authorities would no longer have the aforementioned informative/ declarative obligations and could set up internal systems by which they would ensure the automatic compliance with these simplified fiscal conditions.

Last but not least, the state would no longer need to engage resources to ensure the collection of taxes on gambling revenues and, moreover, it would have money available much earlier (the obligations withheld when making the payment are declared and transferred to the state budget until the 25th of the month following that when the payment is made).

In other words, all stakeholders would benefit.

Legislative Process to Amend the Tax Code and the Good Timing

Summing up the benefits, it follows that the opportunity of implementing such amendments is immediate. However, not before taking into account the following two issues.

First of all, the Tax Code can only be amended and/ or supplemented by a law, and the provisions of such a legislative act should enter into force after at least 6 months as of its publication in the Official Journal. Adjustments adopted by emergency ordinance are an exception for which shorter deadlines for the entry into force can be provided, but not less than 15 days as of the date of publication.

Second of all, one should take into account a transition as smooth as possible from the current taxation system to one that implies the withholding of tax liabilities for the revenues obtained by online gamblers.

The urgent change of the taxation treatment requires transitory rules for the period between the entry into force of the new provisions and the end of this year, the amendment of the existing forms, in order to accommodate two periods with different taxation methodologies (similarly to 2015), details that would require the allocation of higher resources by the state and the taxpayers (participants and organisers alike) for compliance.

Such inconveniences could be easily avoided if the legislator would pursue the implementation of these measures since the beginning of the next taxation period (namely 1st January 2018), thus also contributing to the predictability of tax legislation in Romania, strongly shaken by the recent emergency ordinances on other taxation areas.

It should however be understood that the date of entry into force is not the same as the date when such measures are adopted, and the legislative process is a lasting one, which should involve both the representatives of the National Gambling Office and those of the bodies in charge with monitoring, verifying or sanctioning the industry-related activities, as well as the representatives of the associations of gambling operators.

Therefore, less than two months are left by the date when the law meant to improve how to tax the revenues of online gamblers should be published in the Official Journal, so as to have effects as of 1st January 2018. Under these circumstances, the legislative measures can be adopted only by an emergency ordinance.

Regardless of what will happen, one thing is certain. By accumulating various budgetary pressures from measures the opportunity of which is to be proven, Romania should not miss the chance to remain in the select group of jurisdictions that adapt to the needs of a growing industry, particularly when such an effort does not involve additional costs.

Alexandru Mănucu Biography

Alexandru Mănucu is a Tax Deputy Manager with Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii Tax SRL, mainly covering corporate and international taxation matters. Previously working as a senior tax consultant with PwC, he was involved in various consulting and audit projects, diagnostic and fiscal reviews and mergers and acquisition projects with emphasis on a wide range of industry sectors: automotive, energy and mining, industrial products, IT and communications.

Before starting his consulting career, Alexandru held an executive management position in a distribution company in the automotive sector, deepening his knowledge in the auto industry business environment.

He graduated from the Faculty of International Business and Economics at the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and he holds a Master’s degree in Business Communication from the same institution.

Alexandru is also enrolled in Chartered Institute of Taxation, looking forward to obtain his ADIT certification (“Advanced Diploma in International Taxation”)


LET’S PLAY ONLINE – Keno

A few years ago, we were suggesting to our readers that we test some of the online casino games made available by the operators. We believe that this would be a good time to start.

According to the Romanian legislation, more specifically the law referring to the authorisation, organising and exploitation of gambling, as well as to the updated licence fees from 18.04.1997, this game is seen as belonging in the same category as bingo. Keno is a game in which players bet on numbers at fixed rates, on virtual events. These events come in the shape of draws, where out of 80 available numbers 20 are picked, one at a time.

A short history of Keno

Keno is probably the oldest game that you will ever come across in a normal casino or on the website of an online casino. The game’s origins date back 3000 years, to an ancient Chinese game. The legends has it that it was invented by a man names Cheung Leung, who decided that he needed to raise money, in order to oppose a war. So, he invented this game in the hope that he would manage to sell enough tickets in order to stock the soldiers on the front lines with supplies they needed. In the 1800s, the game reached the United States and became extremely popular, under the name of Chinese Lottery.

Keno can be played both online and offline

First of all, it’s important to know that, for this game, the house’s advantage is sometimes as large as up to 20%, but its simple rules, as well as the charming repetitive draws are fun and immersive. There are many types of Keno, each agency/casino may have its specific rules. The important thing is that you understand the game and choose whatever type you think is of the most interest to you.

There are 80 numbers, on 8 lines and 10 columns, that you can pick from. At casinos/online agencies you can pick between 2 and 10 numbers, but occasionally you can pick more (up to 15 numbers). You choose your game strategy, your stake, you place your bet and wait to see which numbers are drawn. The numbers are randomly drawn (RNG random number generator), and the results of the draw can’t be influenced or modified.

You need to follow the table where it specifically mentions what the winnings are for keno games.

Advice and strategies for Keno

The game strategies are based on how high the stake is, on how much you want to bet and on the time you plan to spend playing. Taking the probability of winning into consideration, which is larger than on a regular lottery, it’s wise to choose a set of numbers and a number of draws to take part in. If you’re not looking for high winnings and you prefer playing for a longer time, than you can choose fewer numbers. In this case, the chances of coming across all the numbers you’re betting on are larger. But proportionally, the amount you win will be smaller. Moreover, you’ll have to place smaller bets for every game ticket so that the time spent playing is longer. The budget will last you longer and so will the fun.

Here’s a practical example of setting a game strategy:
1. We’re playing 10 draws. For example, 3 simple numbers for 1 or 2 RON each, or whatever your stakes are. The odds for 3 simple numbers vary, depending on the agency, between 63 and 70. It means that if I bet 2 RON on 3 numbers for 10 consecutive draws and only one is winning – that my win is 2×70-20. 120 RON.

2. You find the combination that was most often drawn during the last 10-20 draws, then you play 5 or 10 executive draws on a system of 4/6, 5/8, 6/10, but never above 6/x (the more numbers you play, the lower the odds), so you take minimum odds into account, and, as such, can afford a few bad draws.

3. Don’t ever use Martingale and never juggle the stakes.

4. Don’t try to recover losses if you’ve lost money at Keno. The purpose of the game is to have fun and to not go beyond the set time for the game.

If you have 1000 RON, you set the stake at 1 RON and play for 10 rounds. You choose 7, 19, 29.

After the first 10 rounds, that last less then 1 minute, on average, you have 992 and the status of your winnings and draws looks like this:

You play two more draws, this time with 5 numbers, aside from 7, 19 and 29 you also pick 65 and 79. So the stake is 1 RON, you play for 10 draws, and your ticket has 5 numbers: 7,19,29,65,79.

The last series, the one showed before, was the most prolific one, with 2 draws with 3 numbers each.

So Keno is an attractive, relaxing game, with bingo and lottery elements. The most important thing is to choose the type that suits you best and to have fun playing.

(Română) De citit, nu de uitat pe poze…

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(Română) Unibet a achiziționat Stan James pentru 19 milioane de lire sterline

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Casino Inside magazine 2015 editions


Revista Casino Inside nr 60


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Casino Inside magazine 2011 editions


Revista nr 20


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Revista nr 14


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New beginnings

The first operators to have been granted the right to organize and operate remote gambling activities. The first websites to have been blacklisted.
By Ana-Maria Baciu și Oana Albu – NESTOR NESTOR DICULESCU KINGSTON PETERSEN

The end of June brought new premieres to the Romanian remote gambling market.
The Monitoring Committee of the National Gambling Office issued decisions by which three operators were granted the right to organize and operate remote gambling activities. These operators are:
– SC Right Betting SRL, for fixed-odds betting – website www.stanleybet.ro
– Cosmo Gaming Company Ltd., for fixed-odds betting and casino – website www.netbet.com/ro
– WM Interactive Limited, for fixed-odds betting and casino – www.winmasters.com/ro

Moreover, the Monitoring Committee blacklisted a series of websites performing remote gambling activities in Romania. These are:
• www.aladdinsgoldcasino.com
• www.allstarslots.com
• www.aztecrichescasino.eu
• www.betonline.ag
• www.blackjackballroom.eu
• www.bodog.eu
• www.buzzluck.com
• www.captaincookscasino.eu
• www.carbonpoker.ag
• www.casino-classic.eu
• www.casinodelrio.com
• www.casinokingdom.eu
• www.casinoshare.eu
• www.casinotropez.com
• www.challengecasino.com
• www.clubworldcasinos.com
• www.colosseumcasino.com
• www.europacasino.com
• www.goldenreefcasino.com
• www.goldentigercasino.com
• www.grandhotelcasino.com
• www.grandmondial.eu
• www.highnooncasino.com
• www.intertops.eu
• www.islandcasino.com
• www.lasvegasusa.eu
• www.luckyemperorcasino.com
• www.nostalgiacasino.com
• www.phoeniciancasino.eu
• www.slotland.eu
• www.slotsplus.eu
• www.sportbet.com
• www.sportsbook.ag
• www.strikeitluckycasino.com
• www.sunpalacecasino.eu
• www.titanbet.com
• www.titancasino.com
• www.titanpoker.com
• www.ukcasinoclub.eu
• www.vegascasinoonline.eu
• www.vegascountrycasino.com
• www.vegasjokercasino.com
• www.vegasslotcasino.com
• www.villento.com
• www.virtualcitycasino.eu
• www.virtualcitycasino.eu
• www.yukongoldcasino.eu
• www.zodiaccasino.com
The 90-day grace period continues to run and the industry awaits the Monitoring Committee’s new meetings and its decisions in relation to this area.
___________
Place your bets lawfully!

 

Cosmina Simion Joins NNDKP’s Gaming and Intellectual Property Practices as Partner

She will head, together with Ana-Maria Baciu, the gaming team, thus reinforcing it as the strongest specialized practice among top tier firms in Romania. Cosmina’s arrival supports the firm’s strategy of focusing on the Gaming and IP practices, and her experience will translate into a significant increase of the capabilities of the two areas.
Cosmina is an intellectual property, regulatory and technology lawyer. With 16 years of professional experience, she focuses on various industries with a particular emphasis on the media and entertainment, online and gambling industries.
Co-head of the Gaming practice, she is well-versed in dealing with all matters pertaining to the organization and operation of gambling activities. She has been actively involved in the review of the gaming legal framework and contributes in domestic working groups seeking to improve the business and regulatory approaches in gaming, technology, media and communication.

(Română) Un bărbat din New Jersey a câștigat un jackpot de 1,5 milioane de dolari pe o singură mână la poker online

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