What will happen with gambling industry after the new regulations will be in place?

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Definitely, two new regulations will influence the whole gambling industry from our country – Gambling Law Implementing Rules and Anti Smoking Law.
About how these two regulations will influence Romanian gambling, we have talked with some of the most important voices in the area.

Valentin Adrian Georgescu, CEO Novomatic România:
“In this moment we can consider that we have a complete and regulated legislative frame…”

What is your opinion about Gambling Law Implementing Rules, rules which have been recently approved by the Romanian Government and which have been discussed during the 6th Edition of Romanian Gambling Conference?
The implementing of the new rules is a good thing. There has been more than one year since Emergency Ordinance has no 77/2009 have been modified and everybody was waiting for the Implementing Rules. In this moment we can consider that we have a complete and regulated legislative frame.

valentin adrian georgescu

How these rules are affecting your activity? What about anti-smoking law?
The implementing rules are good to clarify the EO no 77/2009. Even in this moment there are some aspects not very clear or some aspects which can easily be misunderstood, but we will see how the things will work. The anti-smoking law is affecting all the operators from gambling area and not only.

How do you think that the Romanian gambling industry will work during the next year?
The general legislative changes, both about smoking and the protection against fire will definitely influence the gambling industry next year. It will be to be seen, how much.

Marius Stoi, General Manager DGL PRO
“All the players from the market will be able to stay focus on their business…”

What is your opinion about Gambling Law Implementing Rules, rules which have been recently approved by the Romanian Government and which have been discussed during the 6th Edition of Romanian Gambling Conference?
We are happy that the Implementing Rules have finally been approved. There are some aspects to be clarified, but all these can be fixed through ONJN President Order, so it will be an easier and faster procedure.

marius stoi

How these rules are affecting your activity? What about anti-smoking law?
For our company, as equipment producers, a new market branch has been opened for us – the limited reward gambling. We are working now to homologate this new machine and we hope that very soon we will be able to put it on the market. About anti smoking law, as we are producers, we are waiting for a feedback from our operators.

How do you think that the Romanian gambling industry will work during the next year?
Thinking that there is a complete legislative packet, all the players from the market will be able to stay focus on their business, so we will have a positive evolution.

ROMBET Management
“We consider that the new legislative frame… a significant step forward…”

What is your opinion about Gambling Law Implementing Rules, rules which have been recently approved by the Romanian Government and which have been discussed during the 6th Edition of Romanian Gambling Conference?

dan ghita

Dan Alexandru Ghiţă, ROMBET President:
We consider that the new legislative frame for gambling is an important step forward. We have the first online gambling operators which can work on a legal environment and finally we have the Implementing Rules, and recently there have been approved two ONJN President Orders. Our country is an example of good practices considering the regulation in gambling area.

How these rules are affecting your activity? What about anti-smoking law?

Anchidim Zăgrean, ROMBET Vicepresident :
We appreciate that once the regulation packet for gambling industry will be in place, the activity in this area will be consolidated, we will notice better long term predictability, especially as a result of the new regulation which implements 10 years license duration for the gambling operators. On the other part, it is important to understand that, by adopting the new regulations (laws, norms, and orders) the legislative process shouldn’t be a closed case. We have to continuously think about the gambling industry evolution, especially for the online area and to adapt and eventually correct some legislative aspects.
About anti-smoking, we can just say that it is one of the most restrictive regulations at European level and that there are already some initiatives to change the law and to accept the existence of some spaces for the smokers. But it is too soon to evaluate the impact that the law will have on our industry operations – we will see …

anchidim zagrean

How do you think that the Romanian gambling industry will work during the next year

Dan Iliovici, ROMBET Prim-vicepresindent:
2016 will be the year when we will make the transition from a temporary right to operate to the first licenses and authorizations for online gambling, due to the new regulations. Very probably, we will have the first temporary licenses and authorizations which will give the right to operate in national touristic resorts, with the specific purpose of reviving the tourist in our country in the same way like happened in other parts of the world.

dan iliovici

Also, by approving the implementing rules, we will see, for the first time in Romania the limited risk slots, aka AWP, machines which can be exploited in commercial areas, where other but gambling are developed. We have to mention also the launching of the foundation of public interest dedicated to responsible gaming and we also hope that ROMBET will contribute together with other associations to the implementation of other programs as efficient as possible to prevent any kind of gaming problems.

Andrei Frimescu, Marketing & PR Manager Game World România
“We anticipate that 2016 will bring a lot of challenges…”

What is your opinion about Gambling Law Implementing Rules, rules which have been recently approved by the Romanian Government and which have been discussed during the 6th Edition of Romanian Gambling Conference?
We consider that the publishing of the Implementing rules is a step forward to assure a clear and stable legislative frame. The rules are clarifying the way to apply the law and let the operators to better organize their activity. There are some aspect to be made clear, as for example, we have to know how will be organized the Foundation which will organize the social responsibility actions.

andrei frimescu

How these rules are affecting your activity? What about anti-smoking law?
The legislation and the Implementing Rules form the frame for organizing the current activity and, in the same time, there are fundamental elements in planning the company evolution on short, medium and long term. Speaking about the anti-smoking law, we have immediately noticed, a considerable drop down of the activity, totally expected considering the similar situations recorded in any other casino where such a regulation was implemented.

How do you think that the Romanian gambling industry will work during the next year?
We anticipate that 2016 will be an year full of challenges generated by external factors; we are already in the situation when we have to be adapted to the effects of the law which prohibited the smoking in closed public spaces and we are also expecting other legislative initiatives in our area, as 2016 is an election year. On the other part, we will notice the effects of another specific situation given by the difference between online gambling – which is definitely growing and the “land based” gambling (casinos, bet agencies, gambling halls), which are now in a consolidation phase.

Sorin Constantinescu, PokerFest President
“It’s the first time when I am becoming positive…”

What is your opinion about Gambling Law Implementing Rules, rules which have been recently approved by the Romanian Government and which have been discussed during the 6th Edition of Romanian Gambling Conference?
It is the first time when I am becoming positive about this industry. Obviously, there is no project made once for a lifetime, especially in such a dynamic environment like gambling market. There are still existing some sensitive points to negotiate and if it is to name one, I would chose one which affects me as a casino manager: the 50 RON tax for entering in a casino and the 30 RON tax to enter in poker clubs. Apparently, any tax for the budget is good, but the appearances are wrong. This tax is inhibiting for the clients and if the clients are suffering, we are also suffering and the budget is suffering also.
In 2015, the stat has collected 270 million EURO, but most of them have been collected for retroactive taxes. If we want to raise the incomes, we have to stimulate this industry. It is a pity to not do this because gambling is globally growing and is consolidated at 11-12% on year at almost 500 billion EURO. The Romanian state should act friendly with this industry because it will only have to win.

sorin constantinescu

How these rules are affecting your activity? What about anti-smoking law?
As I have said, the rules are very welcome, but like any other law, it has to be flexible while all the actors involved have to be prepared to permanently improve. We are not anymore in the same position as we have been 300 years ago when the changes on the field were so slowly. Now everything grows up and become unrecognized from a day to another. The legislative system has to enter in this game and not to stop the reality. And about the anti-smoking law, anything I would say, I would upset somebody. I am not a smoker, but I consider that as long as there are measures to protect the nonsmokers, anybody should have the right to smoke, even in closed places. This law is a really exaggeration. But I think that this aspect is known also those who voted it.

How do you think that the Romanian gambling industry will work during the next year?
Even if it doesn’t look like, this industry is young in Romania. And I am saying this after 25 years in the area. I have been everywhere abroad and I have seen what can be done. I anticipate that next year the current operators position will be consolidated and I hope to assist to new entries on this market.

Doru Gheorghiu, Romanian Bookmakers, Executive Manager
“From the perspective of traditional bets, will be probably the most difficult year…”

What is your opinion about Gambling Law Implementing Rules, rules which have been recently approved by the Romanian Government and which have been discussed during the 6th Edition of Romanian Gambling Conference?
In general, the feedback of the industry about the Implementing Rules is a positive one, a thing also visible after the Romanian Gambling Conference. Except few areas where we have some few observations, I can notice in the name of Romanians Bookmakers that in the final form of the Rules includes the results of the Consultative Council work between the stat authority, ONJN and the industry representatives.

doru gheorghiu

How these rules are affecting your activity? What about anti-smoking law?
Our operators have been very much affected more about the lack of the implementing rules. As I have noticed earlier, the implementing rules generally have the form which have been expected by the industry and predefined after the debates at ONJN Consultative Council level and the operators we are representing are not very much affected by the form of the rules.
On the other part, Law no. 16/2016 which is already put the well known restrictions about smoking is a new important obstacle for the gambling operators which are fighting now to keep their clients. The most affected are is the slot-machine area which is already recording important incoming drop downs, with a similar effect on the state budget contributions.
I don’t want to be misunderstood, meaning that I am not against this law which is extremely good at social level, but gambling is an activity with a special profile, dedicated to adults. Considering this, I remark that in Parliament it is already to be discussed a project to change the anti-smoking law. The most important change would be that, for some activities, like gambling to accept smoking in closed spaces specially designed under the regulations of Law 16/2016, spaces totally separated from the area where the smoking is prohibited. A change like this would as good as the law itself.

How do you think that the Romanian gambling industry will work during the next year?
From the perspective of traditional bets will be probably the most difficult year from the beginning of this industry in Romania. I confirm this very much connected with the wrong interpretation of ANAF incoming, which Romanian Bookmakers is confronting half year now. There are companies that have already declared the insolvency and now are preparing for bankruptcy after the fiscal authority measurements. We still have the hope that after the initiative made by Romanian Bookmakers to Public Finance Minister Level will be clear that ANAF is making a mistake by considering that the gaming operators incoming are the gross incoming without taking out the paid rewards and this will provoke the bankruptcy of the operators from this area. O solutions that Romanian Bookmakers is proposing is to support MFP to elaborate an accounting monograph dedicated to the recording of gambling operators incoming. This would be an instrument which would clarify the actual situation.

ROMSLOT Management

What is your opinion on the Methodological Norms of the Gambling Law, norms that were recently approved by the Romanian Government and that have been discussed extensively during the VI th edition of the Romanian Gambling Conference?
The publication of the methodological norms has been well awaited by the whole industry and was, at the same time, a necessity considering that more than a year has passed since the publication of the Government Emergency Ordinance No. 77/2009 on the organization and operation of gambling activities. The norms clarify the law enforcement and allow the gambling operators to better organize and plan their activity, in a well regulated legal framework. There are, however, some aspects that need to be clarified, for example the organization and functioning of the Gambling Addiction Prevention Fund, to which the operators must pay an annual contribution, as well as the clarification of the funds implication stipulated by the law. Our association, through the representatives on the Advisory Board of ONJN, have already expressed their intention to join the foundation and we will provide our expertise in this field of social responsibility, which we have accumulated in more than four years since we conduct the Responsible Gambling program.

romslot

How will your activity be affected by the Norms? How about the Non – Smoking law?
The current period is characterized by the operators’ efforts to adapt to the new legislative regulations and the publication of the methodological norms helped detailing and clarifying the organization of the gambling activities. We shall see in what way they will resettle the market.

As for the no-smoking law effects on the gambling industry, from our evaluations, they are going to be major. The European experience has shown that in other countries the banning of smoking in gaming halls had serious repercussions on the operators’ revenues, which decreased by 30 to 40%, even though the law was not as tough as in our case. We expect, that in Romania the effects to be major. Also, there will be a proportional decrease in revenue brought by the gambling industry to the state budget, which represented a market of 650 million in 2012. We believe that the legislation can be improved using the precedent set by the experience of neighboring countries. In many European states, among them Italy, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, the gaming halls are excepted from the banning of smoking, either by allowing smoking inside halls or by creating dedicated smoking spaces.

What do you think will be the evolution of the Romanian gambling industry in the next year?
It is difficult to make estimates on the evolution of the market given the complexity of the factors in the external environment, both legislative and economic. We anticipate that 2016 will bring many challenges. We are already facing the situation where operators must adapt their business strategies to the effects of the law that bans smoking in enclosed public places. Furthermore, we do not exclude the emergence of other legislative initiatives that will impact our industry, considering that 2016 is an election year and that the gambling industry has always been under the pressure of social impact.

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