The 11th Edition of Ora Exactă în Gambling – clarifications and call for cooperation

The Ora Exactă în Gambling (OExG) seminar took place on March 15th at the Odeon Palace. Panelists and guests alike had the opportunity to interact and receive clarifications regarding legislative changes impacting the gambling industry.

Excellent speeches at the 11th edition of Ora Exactă în Gambling

Following the success of the 10th edition held in December 2023, OExG 11 did not disappoint. The event was hosted by Bogdan Coman from Rombet, and the panelists were:

● Anamaria Diana Greu – CEO and founder of Access Finance, a brokerage company
● Diana Popescu – representative of Libra Bank
● Mugurel Olariu – specialist in data protection (GDPR)

Remarkable speeches were also delivered by Vlad Soare (Fedbet) and Cristian Pascu (AOPJNR – Association of Organizers and Producers of Gambling Games in Romania).

The president of ONJN, Gheorghe-Gabriel Gheorghe, and the vice-president of ONJN, Silviu Pocora were also invited to attend the event. An hour before the seminar began, Gheorghe-Gabriel Gheorghe announced that he cannot attend the event. At the same time, Silviu Pocora confirmed that he would participate, but he never showed up.

Before the start of the seminar, participants had the opportunity to socialize and browse through the 2024 edition of the luxurious Romanian Gambling Directory, the only product of its kind in Romania. OExG 11 adhered to the theme “Legislation. Taxes. Guarantees,” with panelists and speakers delving into each topic in detail.

Legislation. Taxes. Guarantees – current topics explained in detail

An extremely burning issue in the gambling industry lately has been the bank guarantee letters. Romanian banks’ openness to offering such services to gambling operators is relatively low. At least for now.

“Since January 2024, we have been inundated with requests for bank guarantee letters, following the increase in the guaranteed amount for the state budget in case of debt non-payment. Since the beginning of the year, we have issued approximately 50 guarantee letters. The due diligence process is much simpler if the actual beneficiary is Romanian”, explained Diana Popescu, the Libra Bank representative.

“Most banks view collaboration with gambling operators as operational risk, as they associate them with the same category as companies selling tobacco or alcohol. We have contacted many representatives of the banking system, but the banks’ openness is not at a high level. And in terms of insurance, there are also very high reservations. Fortunately, I know that negotiations are ongoing, and I hope that a solution will be reached. The Government should get involved and provide greater support to operators”, added Anamaria Diana Greu.

Emergency Ordinance 82 of 2023 – hopes for positive changes

The 1 million euro guarantee imposed on operators by Emergency Ordinance 82 of 2023 will particularly affect small and medium operators, emphasized Cristian Pascu. He explained that despite this aspect, all operators must find a way to collaborate. “Collaboration will help us salvage what can be salvaged”, added the executive president of AOPJNR.

Vlad Soare also delivered an excellent speech, revealing his struggles with parliamentarians during sessions in the Romanian Parliament. The Fedbet representative mentioned that the law initiated by Alfred Simonis and Emergency Ordinance 82 will gravely affect the industry.

However, Vlad Soare hopes that aspects such as relocating gaming halls outside major localities and granting only one license per 20,000 inhabitants will be abandoned, as there are arguments of unconstitutionality for them.

The issue of increased taxes through Emergency Ordinance 82/2023 was also addressed. “The responsible gaming tax has increased by 100 times, and the reasoning was it is a social issue, not just a fiscal one. The money goes 70% to the state and 30% to ONJN. In other words, the Office remains with 20 million euros annually, without even having an internal structure. For now, it is not clear what exactly happens with this money.

Also, through the vice tax, approximately 60-70 million euros are collected annually for the state budget, money with which nothing happens as well. We want to elaborate a communication and best practices project. We need to raise the standard in the industry and help increase education among players”, emphasized Vlad Soare.

GDPR – when will the revised edition of the Code of Conduct for operators be launched

Mugurel Olariu, a GDPR expert, explained that the law enforcement in this field is becoming stricter, and fines have started to reach impressive amounts. However, Olariu pointed out that so far there have been no complaints aimed at operators in the gambling area, and he hopes that this trend will maintain until the revision of the Code of Conduct for operators. This should be completed within 2-3 months.

There is no doubt that at OExG, the most important issues facing industry operators at present were dissected. The obvious conclusion is that there are reasons for concern, but collaboration and openness to raising industry standards could be the key to a stable future.

The main partners of the event organized by Casino Magazine were Fedbet, Rombet, and BMM Testlabs, while the logistical partners were Tiger Security and EasyPay Solutions. The next event organized by Casino Magazine is the much-awaited 12th edition of the Central European Gambling Summit, for which we will provide details shortly.

You can find HERE information about previous editions of the Ora Exactă în Gambling (OExG).

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