Dan Iliovici: “Our industry has to bring a different type of contribution to the development of the society…not only the payment of the taxes”

Around the world, the concerns of the people in the gambling industry are going towards a responsible industry, which to protect the clients and convey a simple yet strong message that ‘gambling is all about entertainment, amusement, not risks and trouble.’

A large number of countries have already adopted or are still working on special programs meant for those people with addiction problems.
‘Romania will join these countries, once the Foundation for responsible gambling is established,’ said Mr. Dan Ghita, President of the Association of Betting Organizers – ROMBET. ‘It is an approach that we, the people at ROMBET, believe in very strongly and have always endorsed.’

The Foundation of a public interest will include industry officials, members of the Advisory Board with the National Gambling Office. All will be able to directly contribute to the activities of the Foundation. Moreover, all the betting organizers are in duty bound by law to financially assist the Foundation activity. More details about the material actions of this institution are to be made available when this project has been secured.

Mr. Dan Iliovici, Executive Director of ROMBET, Association of Betting Organizers was asked to say a few words about this worldwide concern. What does it look like from the Romanian perspective?

‘I have been thinking that, in all this scramble and efforts to protect our industry and interests, fights among us or with the lawmakers, to point fingers right and left, we forget what is utmost: our own image.

As we are all aware of what public image the gambling industry has in Romania, I would suggest shifting from taking care of the image to BUILDING A REPUTATION. Most experts say that an image is built but a reputation is gained. Our image is of a strong industry, but our reputation leaves much to be desired. We want people believe us, but we are not trying to be believable. We succeed to be arrogant only.

Our industry, as it happens with all the developed economies, has to bring a different type of contribution to the development of the society…not only the payment of the taxes.

It is a global effort, to which the gambling industry in Romania needs to adhere. ROMBET advocates for this type of responsibility and we have turned it into an objective as important as the unity and transparency of the industry.

Let’s start with the Responsible Gambling program. We must be more visible with the things that we are doing well and beyond that and more honest about what we are still keeping out of sight for the public.

We should open ourselves to the world and to the people who have been working tens of years for an impeccable reputation. Let’s debunk the negative myths that are affecting us so much. Also, let’s examine our impact upon the society and do more to achieve the key goals of our industry: TRANSPARENCY.

In the last months, we have attended two major events, where we debated along with the foreign guests about the sensitive issue of the responsible gambling. ‘We have more key targets to get to but the first and utmost is to protect our clients – minors are number one and then the vulnerable categories and the ones prone to addiction’, said Harrie Temmink, deputy director of the General Directorate for the community market and services of the European Commission, who I had the pleasure to meet in person last fall, at the Eastern European Gaming Summit, in Bulgaria.

I believe that there are several important things we need to consider when writing down the plan of the responsible gambling project. The first one would be compulsoriness, brought about by the European Commission, for the staff in the spaces where the operators have gambling equipment installed be trained to identify ‚the addiction problems and prevent or stop them in due time’ – the question is how many operators do really invest in it? The second would be the risk percentage, namely the number of players from the total in the pool, prone to develop ‚gambling-relates problems’ – how could we possibly evaluate this number of people in Romania? And the third, how can we prepare ourselves to prevent here the exposure of the vulnerable categories about who Mr. Harrie Temmink, Director of European Commission was talking earlier.

ROMBET will make available the entire expertise of its representatives and bring its contribution to the activity of this special Foundation, with an honest wish for Romania to become an example of good practices in the responsible gambling sector.’

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