Casino Inside, the only serious and independent gambling magazine in Romania, offers you in this issue an interesting journey into the fascinating world of our industry, without cancan or “revelations”, just business and casino life.
The Romanian government is stonewalling the gambling entertainment! You’re not even allowed to have fun anymore in this country… As usual, our industry is targeted when government incompetence is on full display. No later than 3 months after the lifting of the alert state, and after 2 years of Covid, in which the gambling industry was more closed than open, but was supposed to pay its taxes as if it was operating at full capacity, the PNL-PSD-UDMR governing coalition has decided that it is time to destroy it and send it to the black market (where it was before the creation of ONJN) and drive out its players and most probably the vast majority of online and landbased operators, destroying an industry that gives the State about 1 billion euros annually in direct and indirect taxes, salaries and business vertically and horizontally enough to be an important branch of the economy and a major contributor to the Romanian state budget.
Hiding behind the outdated slogan that nobody believes anymore (since you have millions of euros in accounts, taken from operators for social programs on responsible gambling, that you do nothing with) with statements like: “in times of crisis the gambling problem explodes and affects many families”, our politicians take away opportunities instead of using them, destroying an industry and a modern legislative and regulatory framework, a model for other countries, taking us back to the 2000s, or maybe worse, to the 90s.
Hypocrisy, stupidity and populism join hands and put a stumbling block to an industry that has proven in recent years its special involvement in the life of the community by helping many CSR projects (I’m not going to list them now, you know them by heart) and even being the first industry to help the state in the anti-covid vaccination campaign by heavily promoting (including in a press information campaign) the need for vaccination among employees, over 65% of whom were vaccinated against covid at one time.
And how does the Romanian State respond just 3 months after the resumption of unrestricted activity? It wants to impose a 40% tax on winnings (any winnings!) earned by gamblers for simply wanting to have fun in a casino, cardroom, bookmaker or on a licensed online site.
It is meant to be a populist measure, but, in the end, it hits every person who has 1 leu and wants to feel good about watching a football match and wants to place a bet, taking 40% of his possible win, no matter how small the amount is. It is unimaginable! I don’t think there is any such precedent in Europe or the world.
What will the Romanian State finally get after applying this measure: the expulsion of investors from the field (many prestigious companies from abroad and many serious Romanian companies), the decrease in budget revenues in this field, the black economy, the migration of players to unlicensed landbased and online operators, the lack of control over the phenomenon and a lot of ludomania, no one will know how many players there are and how many are in need of specialized help for pathological addiction. From the moment this measure is adopted, the Romanian State will be solely responsible for the repercussions of these decisions.
That’s what happens when you disturb an area that used to bring you money, stability and legislative regulation and control over the phenomenon.