Tuesday, 31 October 2023

Av. Prof. dr. Marius Pantea

As in the case of the “Great Socialist October Revolution”, the Romanian state does not cataclysm and punishes again the gambling industry, by disregarding it. With the amendments of 6 October this year, a new composition of the Supervisory Committee of the ONJN was established, namely the increase in the number of members from 9 to 11 people (because there was talk of reducing the expenses of the budgetary apparatus) and the obligation that meetings be held in the presence of at least 9 members.

From the date of the legal rule until today, only 8 members have been appointed (only one member has been appointed during this period) and the Committee meetings cannot take place (the meeting of 16.10 was not held and it seems that the last meeting scheduled for October will not be held either).
This issue, of “minimal” importance to the government (the appointment by the Prime Minister on the proposal of the Finance Minister of at least one more member of the Committee, if not all 3), has a devastating impact on the industry.
1. Significant sums will be lost to the state budget (licence, vice and authorisation fees);
2. Operators cannot obtain an organisational licence to carry out their activity – which will block for at least one month the exploitation and related activity;
3. Licensees cannot obtain an extension of their operating permits, which means stopping the activity in full (for those who fall below the minimum number of 75 slot machines – the license will be revoked by right) or in part (for specialized locations that fall below the minimum number of 20 slots in Bucharest or 12 slots in other localities – the fees will be paid without the possibility of operating the slot machines);
4. Gambling agencies, casinos, poker clubs and bingo organizers will stop their activity, as they have paid the fees (license, vice and authorization fees) because their re-authorization files have not been approved (those that expired in October this year, valid for one year);
5. Amendments to the regulations of traditional and online gaming operators and other administrative acts (relocations, etc.) will not be approved and operators will not be able to operate according to the new legal strategies and obligations;
6. Suspension sanctions for venues where minors have been identified and other measures proposed by the Directorate as a result of controls carried out in the industry will not be applied (which will allow those who have not paid their debts to the budget – another hole in the budget – to operate unhindered and to be removed by the Committee);
Unfortunately, the gambling industry will have to bear all these blunders, the costs will be significant, there will be operators who will be sanctioned with the automatic revocation of their licence, even though they are not at all to blame, lawsuits will be filed to recover the damages caused by the negligence of the state, and the syncopation due to the indolence of those who lead us will generate social instability through the inevitable redundancies of the staff of gambling operators.

Author: Editor

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