Presentation done at the 9th edition of the Romanian Conference on Gambling by Calin Florea Managing Director Super Jackpot and Vlad Roman, independent consultant
The paper contains a brief history of the activity and the causes which have led to the drastic diminution of business, but also the redefinition of the live casino gambling sector. Also, the social aspects and the proposed conclusions and novelties are presented.
Brief history of the activity
At the beginning of the 90s, once with the enactment of the gambling activity, the live casinos had an important weight in the field, achieving in the ’97s – ’98s the maximum of the activity: 26 – 27 simultaneous authorizations.
After the introduction of certain fees, oversized, of authorization and the failure to support the image of this activity generally in mass media or the erroneous presentation of many aspects, the activity began to decrease, achieving the historic minimum of nowadays of four authorizations in Bucharest, all being exploited from the foreign Israeli capital. We would be at zero authorizations if it would not have exploited the opportunity of bringing players from Israel.
Even though it is considered the pearl of the gambling crown, the regulations from the last 17 years have led to the decay of this business in Romania.
On the other side, other activities which, historical talking occurred in the interior of the casino blossomed: slot – machine activities, bets, poker, and now, the so called online casinos, some electronic copies of the historical activity of live casino.
The regress of activity
Besides the modifications of fees and rules exposed in the prior chapter, there are also grounded reasons as:
The enforceability of a minimum number of tables at which the fees of the operating license have to be paid even though physically the game can take place at half of their number, example of a casino from province to which a number of minimum 10 tables is imposed and which lead practically to the doubling of the exploitation authorization fees at the used tables.
The participation fee is 50 lei paid by the visitors, even though he plays or not, being a psychological barrier for small or medium players.
The annual authorization fee is 95.000 EURO is exaggerated within the conditions in which the exploitation authorizations per tables are paid at higher values, 60.000 EURO in Bucharest, respectively 30.000 EURO in the province.
The enforceability of a tax of 5% from the daily collection if the tax on profit is smaller than it, which leads to some abnormal situations of paying a higher tax in the months with losses. The calculation method for this tax of 5% is also hilar, paying 5% only from the daily gains without taking into consideration the daily losses.
Redefining the activity from the gambling sector in live casinos
From the comments done in the success areas of this activity, it results that this concept has to be regulated in the legislation as a complex of activities. The gambling in live casino for which an operating authorization would be obtained should contain a minimum of the following activities:
The sector of live tables (5 in province and 8 in Bucharest), Slot-machine (50 in province and 80 in Bucharest), poker room, room for bets, activities of restaurant services plus bar, eventually an area for live music – show.
For these minimum activities, it is awarded one annual authorization, following that the authorization and exploitation fees for the tables with casino, poker, slot type activities to be correlated with the existing ones, the activities of bets and services being exploited in collaboration.
Gaming and entertainment complex – the re branding of the live casino has to be done representative for a city / region. These activities have to be performed at the highest standard with technical equipment and super qualified management.
Against these gambling activities, at the casino type games activity it has to be into consideration the social aspect which gives a plus which do not accept the competence in comparison with the other activities:
Internal and external tourism.
From the had experience, it can be said that during the good period of activity of the casinos, the gains have been between 30 and 70% from foreign tourists, foreign businessmen or special groups which have come to Romania to spend some hours playing.
The live games create a benefic interaction and socialization between players.
The supervision of these activities is infinitely superior in comparison with the other gaming activities.
Qualification possibilities which lead to professional careers both in the country and abroad, wanted in the entertainment activities from the cruise vessels or the casinos which are found on the land, with higher material benefits are created.
It would be interesting (as it takes place in the big casinos) if it would be created certain areas to practice boardgames as backgammon, rummy, chess, being able to organize tournaments or competitions at this annex activities.
The framing under the same roof in the gaming and entertainment complex the live casino and annex activities and the procurement of one authorization for these activities would represent the first step for the relaunching of the representative activity of casino gaming.