Saying that 2019 will be a year with no challenges in the gambling industry from Romania is an unfounded statement to say the least, as we have seen in the last days from 2018, by the adoption of the OUG 114. By this decision it is being established, starting with 01.01.2019, a monthly tax representing 2% calculated to the total amount of taxes of participation collected monthly, for online gamblers, which is to be calculated, declared and paid to the state budget until the 25th of the following month after the month when the participation taxes were collected. The calculation modality of the tax is established by the order of the president of the National Gaming Office, and the modality of declaration and payment is established by the order of the president of the National Agency for Fiscal Administration. You are invited to read Mr. Anchidim Zăgrean’s article, vice- president ROMBET, published in the current edition of the magazine, where we detail all the modifications and the news in the regulation of the industry, as they have been adopted by OUG 114/2018.
At international level, the challenges and problems are at another level, although taxes will always be a spiny issue in this industry.
Several experts believe that the theme related to the adherence to the rights related to the personal data protection and the gamblers’ personal lives will be a present-day topic in 2019. ”It will be a year when the gamblers and all those interacting with the gambling platforms will realize the importance of the security of their data. 2018 was rather a year of habituation and of understanding of what GDPR means in fact. People are more and more aware of their rights and power in their relation with the operator, especially in what regards the adherence to their personal lives and the European normal regarding the use of the personal data”, declares Mr. Dan Iliovici, vice-president ROMBET.
One of the most advanced regulation body in the gambling field at international level, The UK Gambling Commission, announces that the strategy for 2019 will comprise several new directions which, for the first time, ”aren’t intended solely for operators ”, as several members of the Commission declare. On the other hand, there are being searched more efficient modalities and involvement, and for the evaluation of the strategy. ”We must admit that the Responsible Gambling strategy 2016-2019 (from Great Britain – n.r.) was a set of ideals, rather than a truly efficient strategy”, says a member of the Commission.
An idea discussed on other markets as well is that the issue of responsible gambling “come out” from the environment of the industry and to co-opt multi-disciplinary experts. ”Certainly, more and more voices are required – from organizations, from the involvement of the civil society – that would complete the consultative framework of the Responsible Gambling strategy”, claims Dan Iliovici. ”It is also advisable that all the parts involved come out from the comfort zone and build long-term strategies, meant to bring benefits to all and to create a safer and more stable environment”.
We are expecting a 2019 with more consistent data from official statistics, which will show us how and to what extent the current Responsible Gambling strategies and programs are working, in our country and in the world. Recently, an expert in the field of responsible gambling from Macao, Bo J. Bernhard, who is also executive director at UNLV International Gaming Institute (Las Vegas – n.r.), said that he is happy to see how much the responsible gambling have advanced in less than 10 years and how gamblers can enjoy real and efficient assistance, regardless of the nature of their problem.
Another trend for 2019 is that large operators would announce the budget attributed to their own responsible gambling programs. While the analysis of the amount or of the results remains at the choice of each market, at international level there are already respectable voices claiming that this is just another marketing modality and that these companies may “invest” the money in national program, with effects on long-term. Other experts say that these companies (and budgets!) are welcomed, even if their effect is, sometimes, only to prove the matter.
”If we spoke in the beginning about a better understanding of the rights related to personal data in 2019, I believe we should also come back a little to the essence of the responsible gambling in 2019. Let’s remain focused on the no.1 target of every such program, which is the gambler. For the moment we are far from a financial involvement similar to that of the companies from the West, but extremely important steps have been made in the last year. I would mention, first of all, the development of the programs and of the projects of the Responsible Gambling Association, where ROMBET is a founder member, together with Romslot and Romanian Bookmakers. We have important plans for the new year and we promise we will keep you updated with all these”, concludes Dan Iliovici, vice-president ROMBET.