Thursday, 9 February 2023
By Av. Prof. Dr. Marius PANTEA

By Av. Prof. Dr. Marius PANTEA

Because spoken or written truths, half joking, half seriously, have an effect on the Romanian, I have chosen to use this species of Romanian literature for the situations I will present below, even if some readers may not like this type of article. Making fun of misfortune is a characteristic of the Romanian people, and, over time, it has helped to overcome more easily the social and economic problems, and in particular those that arose in the gambling industry in our country.

That being said (written), let me “present” you, briefly, what are, at this time, the problems faced by licensed gambling operators. The first, in chronological order, is the already famous Declaration, which gaming operators have started to give since December 2022, in order to be able to obtain the operating permits for the gaming means subject to the approval of the Supervisory Committee of the ONJN. It is a “state of the art” solution designed by the ONJN, whereby the gambling organizer declares that it meets the conditions, which at the moment do not exist because they are to be published by means of a Government Decision. The good part is that a solution has been found so as not to block the authorization, and the bad part is that the chaos of the legislative regulations in the field of gambling is once again certified. Rumor has it that the same solution will be adopted to unblock the online gambling blacklist situation.

Related to the same situation, talking about the implementation of the registration system for these people considered self-excluded or undesirable, there are still questions on everyone’s lips, i.e.: does player X self-exclude from my company and can freely enter competing locations? Or will a nationwide system be adopted whereby self-exclusion actually has the desired effects? Shouldn’t there also be a penalty for the person who self-excludes himself but tries to circumvent the systems and play from time to time, either land based or online? The questions are justified if we consider the practice of developed countries which have adopted such measures, which means that the Office should issue rules clarifying these specific situations. Practical solutions must be adopted, otherwise we will find ourselves in a situation where new possibilities will arise to blackmail the organizers, as is happening today with minors being brought into the casino floors, only to be referred to the ONJN which closes the venue for a period of time. An uncompetitive practice that is used by some across the industry, and which takes advantage of employee inattention or the appearance of the underage being matured too early or whatever other tricks.

Avocat Prof. dr. Marius PANTEA

Avocat Prof. dr. Marius PANTEA

A fine mess – that’s the ONJN Communiqué, which reinterprets how gambling operators can advertise outside specialised venues. Until the end of 2022 there were only obligations on what can be displayed on the windows of specialised locations, now these have been extended to any advertising material broadcast, be it a poster, street banner or radio or TV advertisement. We are curious, what would be the legal basis invoked in the case of a lawsuit by the representatives of the Office, given that there is no legislative change. But, who knows, it is not the first situation of this kind, in which the Office, with its own power, interprets the legal rules one way and another way.

It must be said here that gambling advertisements have recently become the subject of legislative regulation, which seems to want to ban their existence altogether. Probably, the large number of such advertisements, appearing on TV and on the street, in places and at times that do not protect minors from visual contact, have managed to irritate some and others, who consider that the large amounts of money invested by gambling operators are no longer needed either by the state budget or the companies in the field and prefer that they disappear. “There’s no problem” as the Romanian says, because “from olden times to the present day, gambling and brothels have never been advertised… everyone has known where they can go, according to their preferences, throughout history, without bothering the prudish…”. It’s a line from a game operator that I read and quoted properly because I thought it was magnificent.

Also on the Office’s website, immediately below the communication, commented by us in the first part, is posted a notice and below it an announcement, both addressed to CAB licensed Class II. Speaking of which, this year marks 2 years since the publication of Order 86. Will the approval of the accreditation scheme in the specific regulated field of gambling means submitted by RENAR succeed by June? Not for nothing, but operators and CABs have also been waiting for some time for the problems that arose with this order to be resolved.



Interestingly, for some time now, what doesn’t appear on the Office’s website has been appearing in various places in the press. Now, if this material should be treated as a “pamphlet”, we believe that the articles that will appear should also be treated as “legends”, i.e. stories with a grain of truth. There are a lot of factors putting pressure on the games industry these days, and “doing the laundry” in public is not exactly the smartest solution. Wars within and against the Office have always existed, and if we adapt what Creanga said, then we can say about the ONJN that: “Neither handsome till he is 10 (this year in April), nor open minded till he is 20, nor rich till he is 30, … but poor in spirit as now and as last year … never was!”.

I don’t want to end without reminding you that it is necessary to identify the solutions that will allow the submission of documents with digital signature to the Office, maybe the provisions of the law on the classic file, which has just been promulgated by the President, will be put into practice (and documents that can be obtained from the authorities – tax and judicial records, bank and treasury statements with stamp, etc. – will no longer have to be submitted), and last but not least I think it’s time to do something more in the area of addiction prevention (use existing funds for programs that actually support people with addiction problems). But, as they say, “Let’s be healthy because we still have a lot to experience”!!!

Author: Editor

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