Doru Gheorghiu considers that the great legislative missions of 2018 have been efficiently resolved due to the fact that vocational associations have formed a strong representation team, practice which he wishes to see perpetuated in 2019 as well
The draft law regarding the prevention and fight against money-laundering has created the industry’s largest migraine in 2018, according to Doru Gheorghiu, executive director of the Romanian Bookmakers – The Patronage of Betting Organizers in Romania. The vocational associations have however address this threat and many others in a happy and unitary manner. About this and what is to be expected of 2019, all within one interview which comes as a complete x-ray of a solicitor and a useful prediction for the operator with regards to 2019.
Which was the greatest challenge of 2018 for the gambling industry?
From the point of view of the professional representation, clearly the most important mission was that of the dialog with the legislative body with regards to transferring Directive EC 849 / 2015 regarding the prevention and fight against money laundering and terrorism financing into national regulations. According to the initial formulation of the draft law associated to this transfer into the national regulations, the traditional gambling operator would have been faced with an operational effort which would have practically been impossible to realize. I’m referring here to the requirements of implementing the standards measures for clientèle identification. The parliamentary commissions have, however, appreciated the arguments brought by us within the debates and proceeded to amending this draft law with sentences adapted to the practical realities of operating traditional gambling activities. As such, what was expected to have a devastating impact upon the retail sector no longer represent a threat.
Which would be the most important transformations through which the industry has went during this almost-ending year?
The online sector continues to find itself in full swing, an expansion which I believe will manifest itself next year, as well. Then, I’ve observed an ever-growing interest for the social responsibility area, respectively toward supporting the activities of the Responsible Game Association more and more practically. More and more decision-factors from profile companies understand that supporting this Association and its projects means supporting the sustainability of their own business. In this context, I am sure that we will see Responsible Game with project which will have an even greater impact than that of current projects, in 2019.
How do you evaluate the industry’s professional representation in 2018?
It is very important that we, those in the area of patronage activities, have sought a most efficient shared work manner for achieving our objectives. More and more actions have benefited from a conjugated effort and there no longer were mission assumed only by the Romanian Bookmakers, Rombet, Romslot, AOPJNR or Exprogame. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone…
You’ll find aspects with which each of these organizations have contributed in almost all of the industry’s representation enterprises. I salute the fact that this responsibility to form a common front has come to life and that, given that predictions say that 2019 will not be exempt from the rattle of legislative changes, this union of efforts must continue and we must win as much as we can with regards to effectiveness within this circle which I can already name a strong team of professional representation.
Considering that you mentioned 2019… What do you think the challenges of next year shall be?
I think that we will have to concentrate on improving the industry’s relations with the local communities within which it operates as a commercial activity and to address harmony as much as we can. I foresee, unfortunately, that we will be faced with even more local initiatives to restrict gambling on various levels, initiatives which can transform in drafts for amending the national regulation framework. As such, I believe that it is high time that we, the industry, answer the requests of the local administration and to address these requests by collaborating with the administration.
How do you appreciate the recent regulations on prohibiting the promotion of jack-pot values and of goods offered within promotional campaigns at the level of GEO 77/2009?
I have understood very clearly how these will be interpreted by the ONJN representatives, from how we’ve been told by the leadership of the Office within the dialog held with the Advisory Council of the ONJN. However, so that operators are clear on how to formulate their promotion messages, as well as on the manners in which to expose said promotions, I have sent the ONJN a set of clarification questions. These have been collected from operators and sent to the Office with the request that the answers be published on the authority’s portal, so that they may be accessible for consultation to all companies.