by Teodora Luca, avocat, Cabinet de Avocat LUCA Mihai Cătălin
During the last years, the legislator has showed a constant interest in the regulation of the gambling activities, so that the legislation applicable to the gambling activities has suffered pending the prior year an important series of modifications, which are the expression of the legislator’s preoccupation for the identification of the framework which corresponds to the private, lucrative interest of companies, but also to the general interest, of assuring a correct, protection competitional environment of vulnerable categories and efficient application of activity supervision means.
During the autumn of the last year, by the Law no. 250/2018 concerning the approval of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 42/2015 for the modification and completion of some normative documents from the gambling field, a new restriction was applied in the matter of advertising the gambling activities, by the completion of art. 7 of GEO no. 77/2009. According to the new paragraph added in the content of art. 7, that align. (4) from the entering in force of the law, it is forbidden the display in the exterior of the gambling locations of the values or goods given by bonuses, promotions or real or simulated jackpots.
The sanction provided by the law for the failure to observe the restriction priory mentioned consists in the fine having the amount between 50.000 – 100.000 lei, at the acknowledgement of committing the offence the Supervision Committee of ONJN being able to decide, depending on the caused consequences, the measure of revoking the gambling organization authorization.
The severity of the sanction imposed by the legal text is the expression of the abstract social danger which the legislator associated to the offence at the moment of the promulgation of a rule.
The accurate manner in which the legislator understood to regulate the applicable restriction seemed, at its turn, an expression of a well – defined purpose, the legislator understanding to forbid any manifestation of the gambling organizers which have as finality the advertising outside the locations specialized for performing the activity of gambling, by centering in the middle of the preoccupations the offered prizes.
This action is registered in the series of actions began by the authority for the enforcement of the principles concerning the responsible performance of gambling, mostly of those which targeted the protection of vulnerable categories.
The new legislative framework imposed to the gambling organizers a new modification concerning the advertisement of the offered services.
If until 10th November 2018, the operators have the freedom to decide the content of the messages and the manner of informing the audience about the performed activity, including the concentration on the offered prizes, following this date it was restraint exponentially the framework of modalities for the
advertising of gambling activities.
There is not doubt concerning the possibility of the gambling organizer (legal entity which owns the organization license and the activity exploitation permit) of advertising the performed activities, being established unequivocally the conditions for the performance of such activities, one of this being the observance of the principles regarding the responsible advertising of gambling activities.
A challenge is to identify de facto the method which the gambling organizers have to advertise the activity, within the conditions in which the public communication cannot contain information regarding one of the essential conditions of the activity, respectively the awarded prizes and benefits, including those of bonuses and jackpots type, as well as the prizes offered within the promotional campaigns.
Among the principles enunciated by the art. 10 align. (3) of the Ordinance, the provisions referring to the interdiction of minors of participating to such activities, as well as those referring to the responsible performance of gambling (understood, within this context, as the need to assure the protection of vulnerable gamblers against the dependence of gambling) have effect on the activities of advertising the gambling.
(to be continued in the next edition)