At the end of this year’s edition of the traditional Entertainment Arena Expo, ONJN President Dan Iliovici was kind enough to answer, a few questions, for our readers exclusively:
So, Mr President:
➤ What new things did you find at the Entertainment Arena Expo 2017?
I am very pleased that the Entertainment Arena Expo has become an international exhibition recognized by the gambling industry because it brings together, year after year, the most important gambling manufacturers and distributors, service providers, all those involved in the this domain. Every exhibitor has come up with something new, attractive, in a warm atmosphere that contributes a lot to the idea of the entertainment and fun industry.
➤ What steps has the gambling industry taken compared to in 2016?
We have seen a breakthrough in the sector of limited- gain machines, the so called AWPs, with many more offers than in previous years.
This makes us glad, and makes us believe that we will better accomplish the purpose for which the legislator foresaw the introduction of this new category of game means, namely the orientation of the players towards the fun part of the game…
We also enjoy a more vigorous approach to the issue of responsible gambling, especially at the level of associations in the field.
➤ What do you think about the “Exact Gambling Hour” seminar?
Being a traditional event at the Entertainment Arena Expo, the “Exact Time in Gambling” seminar has become a landmark for all who want to know what’s new and what are the gambling trends in our country.
It is also an excellent opportunity for the National Gambling Office to step into an open dialogue with industry representatives, operators, game makers, and all those involved in gambling. I think we all have to learn from each other…
➤ What are the next steps ONJN will take?
As I mentioned in this year’s Exact Time in Gambling Seminar, we have a few important things on the list of priorities. First of all, it is about drafting a normative act to regulate the way in which advertising and gambling are advertised.
As we have emphasized at the dedicated day for responsible gambling, which was held on the first day of the Entertainment Arena, it is necessary to advertise in a responsible way, in accordance with the principles stated in the national legislation, respectively in OUG 77, as well as with the European Commission’s recommendations in this field.
Another goal is to establish, as soon as possible, the Foundation for Responsible Gambling.
I think everyone knows what it is about…
There are other things, such as getting rid of bureaucracy – through computerization, aspects that are in our constant attention.
➤ What is the current status of the Responsible Gambling Foundation?
The most important project for the next stage is the foundation of the Public Interest Foundation for a responsible game.
We have already had several discussions with representatives of the industry that have shown interest in this, we are in advanced stage with the drafting of the constitutive acts, and then we will resume them during the meetings of the Consultative Council within the ONJN, and then putting the draft acts in the public debate.
We hope that all the people involved will be able to express their views and come up with the best proposals so that the principles behind this body will find its implementation as best as possible and the goal of its creation can be achieved.
➤ What were the things you couldn’t accomplish during these few months and you’re sorry you did not?
Some of the above-mentioned objectives have been set since the beginning of the mandate, but there have been and still are some objective causes due to which they cannot be achieved from one day to the next …
It is important to take steps forward for each project every day. This way, we will certainly achieve our goals.
➤ What is the most important thing done for the industry in these few months?
I think we have taken a few steps towards a more open Office for operators, but also to consumers, players. We are in favor for the fastest communication, adapted to the current times, as far as possible in electronic format, we have (re) launched our Facebook page, where we regularly post important ads for industry and for consumers and the general public.
➤ What should the industry do in the near future?
As we have already revealed publicly during the Exact Time in Gambling Seminar, we are asking industry to pay more attention to complying with the principles of responsible gambling advertising.
Considering consumer protection, players’ health, and especially the protection of minors.
We believe that industry representatives should be constantly cautious when it comes to communication and we have always recommended:
– refrain from unsubstantiated claims about the odds of winning or the profit that players can expect from gambling;
– not to suggest that skills can influence the results of a game when it is not;
– to present gambling as socially attractive activities or to include statements of recognized personalities or famous people suggesting that gambling contributes to social success;
– not to suggest that gambling can be a solution to social, professional or personal problems;
– not to suggest that gambling may be an alternative to a job, a solution to financial problems or a form of financial investment.
Thank you, Mr. President, and we wish you success in your work!