In the following period of time, Romanian Bookmakers shall initiate important debates with the authorities on the most current challenges and needs of the gambling market!
Obviously, the legislation dedicated to gambling continues to be perfectible in certain aspects. For example, regulation is still required so that, upon the authority’s adoption of a measure which shall lead to the temporary or definitive cease of the operator’s activity, the ONJN (National Office for Gambling) summons the operator’s representatives as to allow the just possibility of expressing a point of view. Another need would be that of clearly correlating sanctions disposed as a result of ONJN inspections for the acknowledged legal violations.
GEO 77/2009 and the norms associated to it currently offer, however, a coherent regulation framework, the effect being that the gambling industry is more and more stable and organized. Under these circumstances, the current industry challenges more frequently originate from other areas. These are what the Romanian Bookmakers – The Patronage of Betting Organizers in Romania are focusing on, in their effort in determining the achievement of certain objective which are undoubtedly necessary for profile operators.
The General Data Protection Regulation – the need to elaborate an industry code of ethics
Undoubtedly, the trickiest issue with which the gambling operators are currently confronted is the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPRR) this month. Romanian Bookmakers has conducted a series of relevant consultations on this matter lately, both with representatives of the targeted companies, as well as with those of other professional organizations in the field.
As such, it came down to the conclusion that the field’s specificity imposes the elaboration of a code of ethics within the application of the GDPR. This is actually invoked within the Regulation (Art. 40, but also under different other areas of the new regulation framework) and may have a determining role in several areas. Specifically, GDPR encourages the elaboration of code of ethics which are specific and associated to each field of activity, exactly with the purpose of facilitating and simplifying the implementation of new provisions for commercial actors in the respective field. The code of ethics shall therefore, primarily, have the role of clarifying, for the operator, the manner in which to achieve compliance with regulations provisions.
Furthermore, and perhaps even more important, it shall represent the incredibly useful work document based on which the state authority, in this case the National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing (ANSPDCP (RO)), shall fulfil its functions in relation with the commercial agent in a more efficient manner. Here, we especially refer to the mission of resolving complaints, monitoring and control.
This assessment of the code of ethics’ utility as operator/authority interface has lead to the conclusions that initiating its drafting is imperative. Romanian Bookmakers shall undertake this action in collaboration with other professional associations within the industry, following that it propose ANSPDCP a draft until the end of August 2018.
After having received approval for the code from the relevant authority, the companies shall be invited to adhere to this document, following that compliance, implementation of the Regulation and each member’s relation with the ANSPDCP to be conducted according to the code of ethics.
”We shall initiate a consultation with the ONJN and ANSPDCP representative. However, we have yet to have contact with the National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing, but we are convinced that we shall find a constructive approach there both with regards to elaborating the code of ethics and with regards to other aspects which must be clarified and harmonized with the purpose of implementing GDPR. We wish that the relevant authority actually contribute and to support us in elaborating this document. This collaboration is absolutely necessary, if we take into consideration the Regulation’s complexity and the multiple aspects it reaches and claims”, described Doru Gheorghiu, executive director at Romanian Bookmakers, which is to be undertaken by the organization he represents.
ONJN shall exert its supervisory and control functions on the new regulations regarding the fight against money-laundering, as well!
It should be noted that the draft law on preventing and combating money laundering and terrorist financing comes with extremely drastic regulations for gambling operators. The good news could come from Romanian Bookmakers, by means of obtaining and exemption of sports betting, both conventional and remote, from these provisions. The Patronage of Betting Organizers in Romania continue to conduct, based on solid arguments, the necessary actions as to obtain this exemption, approach, for that matter, encouraged by EC Directive 849/2015. “In our assessment, the transposition of the Directive in national legislation shall be conducted toward the end of this year. In March 2018, the National Office for Preventing and Combating Money-Laundering made public a new version of the draft law in question, following that, soon, it enter undergo parliamentary procedure”, explains Doru Gheorghiu, executive director of Romanian Bookmakers.
Distinct from the procedure for obtaining the exemption of sports betting operation from the regulation of the future law, the Patronage of Betting Organizers in Romania shall initiate a dialogue with ONJN, given that implementing the provisions under this draft law, as well as the supervision and monitoring, are specified as work attributions of the Office. In other words, the gambling operators, identified as reporting entities within the draft for the amendment of Law no. 656/2002, shall still report to the state authority destined for the gambling industry with regards to compliance with the new regulations.
As such, a consultation with ONJN on this future law is absolutely necessary, consultation which the Romanian Bookmakers shall initiate and support.
Romanian Bookmakers has been actively involved in obtaining a modern, non-discriminatory legal framework, harmonized with the European norms and principles. The Patronage’s approach has evolved from reactive, aiming the cancellation or mitigation of the negative effects of certain draft laws launched without prior consultation of the industry representatives, to proactive, respectively, improvement of the already implemented legislation. However, our efforts must be focused more and more toward the inside of the industry, as to increase the degree of awareness, compliance and social implication of the organizers. We still have a long way to go to reach a fundamental change of the public opinion’s perception, that of the political class and of the governors with regards to the economic activity that we conduct. But I strongly believe this is the right way to succeed in achieving the level of legislative and tax stability we all wish to have.
Liviu Popovici, President of the Romanian Bookmakers
Romanian Bookmakers, partner of IOC and Interpol in combating the manipulation of sports events
The Romanian Bookmakers continue to be the representation vector of Romania’s sports betting industry in the actions regarding combating the manipulation of sports events. The Patronage of Betting Organizers in Romania received a request, on behalf of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and Interpol, to present an opinion on this matter, respectively, the participation at Integrity in Sport Multi-Stakeholder Workshop.
Hosted by the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee (COSR (RO)) headquarters, the debate was part of a series of meetings that IOC and Interpol are organizing within the Global Capacity Building and Training Program, the purpose being that of helping as many countries as possible in addressing in a more and more efficient manner this criminal phenomenon with negative impact upon the sports activity.
The Bucharest Workshop benefited from the input of relevant speakers in the international effort of combating the “fixed” sports events phenomenon, respectively Interpol officers, IOC representatives or representatives of the European Council. Alongside them, representatives from COSR, the Romanian Football Federation, Sports Radar were also present, as well as representatives of relevant companies, representatives of Romanian Bookmakers.
“I am glad to have had the occasion of realizing that all vectors involved have a correct understanding of the betting operator’s position in this unwanted equation. As important is the conclusion that manipulating sports events does not invariably have as purpose obtaining gains form betting and that this scourge may have various other generating causes, such as, for example, a better sports classification”, stated Doru Gheorghiu, executive director at Romanian Bookmakers
For that matter, Romanian Bookmakers has been conducting a collaboration protocol with the Romanian Sports Federation since 2012, beyond the information exchange and warnings with regards to sports events, several common campaigns and programs for the promotion of integrity in sports being conducted.
Future lawyers are more and more interested in gambling
The Romanian branch of the European Law Students Association, ELSA Bucharest, often organizes conferences and seminars dedicated to the legislation applicable to the field of gambling, and Romanian Bookmakers has become one of the organizations permanently invited to hold lectures within these events.
The Patronage of Betting Organizers in Romania moderated a debate with the future lawyers and judges, within the conference ”Gaming Law: another type of game”, held at the Faculty of Law of Bucharest University.
The discussion held with the approximatively 50 students who were present focused on establishing the lawmaker’s relation to the gambling field. Therefore, the Romanian Bookmakers representatives analysed, together with those present, the effects manifested in countries in which governance had a restrictive approach to this field, but also the situations in which the approach was overly liberal. The formulation of the national legislation was considered by the future lawyers as an efficient position of the Romanian state in relation to the gambling industry.
Finally, many of those present showed interest in specializing in gambling after graduation.
Romanian Bookmakers – The Patronage of Betting Organizers in Romania continues to be one of the most active professional organizations in Romania’s gambling industries, succeeding, over the past few years, in efficiently addressing the most important needs faced by this business sector.
Romanian Bookmakers is…
– a member of the Romanian General Union of Industrialists (UGIR (RO)), benefiting from the support of this patronage confederation, a reference for the national business environment in its actions, especially those aiming at formulating or amending legislation
– founding member of the Responsible Game Association, position from which it developed, supports and conducts, alongside partner organizations, the most important program for the prevention and treatment of addictive manifestations generated by gambling
– sole signatory on behalf of the gambling industry of the protocol with the Romanian Football Federation on information exchange and warnings with regards to sports events manipulation