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Romania’s Stance on Gambling: Stringent Regulations in the Making

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Romania’s government, led by Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, has intensified its grip on the nation’s gambling sector with the introduction of an emergency ordinance. Industry specialists suggest this move might freeze the active gambling scene in Romania.

Immediate repercussions of the ordinance indicate a potential shutdown of online gambling platforms. The brick-and-mortar retail establishments, on the other hand, might see a dwindling presence with only around 20% remaining operational. This, in turn, could lead to a surge in black-market gambling activities.

Recent amendments to Ordinance 77/2009 place legal gambling operators in a precarious situation, forcing them to navigate a labyrinth of regulatory challenges. One of the most debated alterations revolves around the establishment of a ‘social responsibility’ department under ONJN. The state body demands online operators with a Class I license to contribute a hefty €200,000 annually. Simultaneously, those holding a Class II license are required to part with €15,000 each year as a vice tax.

It’s noteworthy that the Treasury already holds funds designated solely for Responsible Gaming initiatives. These monies are accrued from the vice fees already levied on operators and amassed by the government. Yet, these existing funds are of lesser magnitude than the newly proposed fees. Moreover, the issuance of operational licenses is contingent upon the payment of these charges.

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The concept of a Responsible Gaming Zone, despite being in place for over eight years under ONJN, has seen minimal progress. Critics argue that the inefficacy stems from the institution’s inability to devise effective social responsibility campaigns in tandem with professionals like psychologists, sociologists, and medical experts. The accumulated funds earmarked for this purpose remain stagnant, with no alternative allocation plans in sight.

However, the authorities seem to be rekindling their commitment to addressing gambling-related issues. Their primary objective revolves around safeguarding players by offering guidance, protection, and support.

Elaborating on the specifics, the draft ordinance outlines that every online operator is expected to provide €200,000. In contrast, each slot machine’s contribution stands at €500, as detailed in the ordinance excerpt.

  1. Article 10, paragraph (4), paragraph (5^1), paragraph (6) and paragraph (6^1) are amended and will have the following content:

(4) It is established under the O.N.J.N. an activity fully financed from own revenues in accordance with the provisions of Law no. 500/2002, with subsequent amendments and additions, to promote compliance with the principles and measures regarding socially responsible gambling, as they are regulated by the provisions of art. 2 of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 20/2013 regarding the establishment, organization and operation of the National Office for Games of Chance and for the amendment and completion of the emergency Government Ordinance no. 77/2009 on the organization and operation of gambling, with subsequent amendments and additions. Own revenues are made up of the contributions of licensed gambling organizers, with the following annual contributions:

  1. remote gambling organizers licensed from class I – 200,000 euros annually;
  2. legal entities directly involved in the field of traditional and remote gambling licensed from class II – 15,000 euros annually;
  3. class III state monopoly distance games – 100,000 euros annually;
  4. licensed traditional gambling operators, as it follows:
  • For lotto games: 1,000,000 euros annually
  • For video lottery games: 500 euros for each device annually
  • For mutual bets: 100,000 euros annually
  • For fixed odds bets: 200,000 euros annually
  • For counter bets: 100,000 euros annually
  • For games of chance characteristic of casinos: 4,000 euros annually for each game table
  • For the characteristic games of the poker club: 5,000 euros annually for each club
  • For slot-machine type games: 500 euros for each slot machine annually
  • For bingo games held in gaming rooms: 5,000 euros annually
  • For bingo games of chance organized through the systems of television networks: 500,000 euros annually

(5^1) Own activity revenues are used for the prevention of gambling addiction and will be allocated for activities and programs for the protection of minors or other vulnerable groups, from a social and economic point of view, against gambling, prevention and the treatment of gambling addiction, for advertising and publicity regarding the prevention of gambling addiction and the promotion of responsible gambling, the creation of a national level base on the auto register of excluded and undesirable persons, ONJN’s integrated IT infrastructure – hardware and software – intended exclusively combating and preventing gambling addiction, including a telverde communication line, as well as for ensuring personnel expenses related to own activity within the maximum limit of 5% of the total amounts related to the activity.

(6) The deadline for payment of the contribution provided for in para. (4) is as follows: for the first calendar year of granting the license, within 10 days from the date of approval of the documentation, and for subsequent years, until January 25 of each calendar year.

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(6^1) In the event of the termination of the validity of the license, for any reason, the annual contribution provided for in par. (4) is due in full/calendar year, regardless of when it expires.

Experts believe that the ordinance, in its present state, won’t be published in the Official Gazette. Intense discussions are currently in progress to amend specific aspects.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator Sees 2.6x Surge in Bets: 2023 Report

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In a dynamic year for the iGaming industry, the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator has released its 2023 report, offering insights into significant trends and achievements.

Notably, the report reveals a staggering 2.6 times increase in bets participating in jackpots, shedding light on the growing appeal of these mechanics among operators and players alike.

A Year of Remarkable Growth

Throughout 2023, bets participating in jackpots experienced consistent quarterly growth, witnessing a remarkable 165% increase from January to December. By the end of the year, the total value of these bets had surged to an impressive 6.396 billion euros. Moreover, the number of jackpot campaigns witnessed a substantial growth of 3.8 times compared to the previous year, totaling 230 campaigns.

Expanding Reach and Impact

One of the standout achievements of 2023 was the expansion of the Jackpot Aggregator’s footprint. The number of brands utilizing its jackpot solution tripled within the year, culminating in over 70 active brands by year-end. This surge in adoption reflects a heightened level of market trust and interest in the product.

Introducing the Prime Jackpot Campaign

A significant milestone of 2023 was the introduction of the Prime Jackpot campaign, which debuted in Q4. This innovative feature garnered considerable attention and interest from players across various casinos. The Prime Jackpot campaign allows operators to participate in shared prize pools, ensuring that rewards are drawn from the collective pool rather than from a specific brand operator. This approach not only offers larger rewards to attract more players but also enhances player engagement and loyalty while optimizing operational costs for operators.

Insights from SOFTSWISS

Aliaksei Douhin, Head of SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator, shared his insights into the year’s achievements. He emphasized the noticeable increase in clients and connected casino brands, as well as the growing volume and value of bets in jackpots. He expressed satisfaction in witnessing clients actively embracing the Jackpot Aggregator and recognizing the added value it brings to their brand operations. The solution empowers operators to provide players with enhanced gaming experiences and more enticing winnings. Client feedback is actively collected and analyzed to ensure clients have access to the most sought-after tools and mechanics.

Looking Ahead to 2024

In 2024, the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator is set to extend its reach to a wider spectrum of clients. This expansion will be guided by a customized approach, ensuring that each client can tailor the product’s capabilities to meet their specific requirements.

Meet SOFTSWISS at ICE London

The SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator team will be present at ICE London from February 6th to 8th, 2024. They are ready to showcase their latest advancements and engage in discussions with existing and potential clients.

About SOFTSWISS

SOFTSWISS is a renowned international iGaming company that offers certified software solutions for managing gambling operations. With a dedicated team of over 2000 employees spread across Malta, Poland, and Georgia, SOFTSWISS holds multiple gaming licenses and provides comprehensive iGaming software solutions. Their diverse product portfolio includes the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator featuring thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook software, and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS made history by introducing the world’s first Bitcoin-optimized online casino solution.


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