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Online Gambling in Romania

by Vlad Cuc

By introducing new regulations (GD. 823/2011), the authorities may have levers that control the tax compliance and prevent money laundering actions through online gambling activities in Romania.

In granting authorization to operate gambling, a team of specialists, consisting of representatives of the specialized directorate, Ministry of Communications and Information and territorial bodies of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Interior, in number at least 5 people, move to the specific place and draw a note regarding the conditions of authorization.

Also, if organizing bingo games through Internet, fixed or mobile systems, online betting, online gambling, payments, transfers or cash withdrawals in / from the player’s game account are to be made through a bank account opened at a bank in Romania or in a European Union Member State.
Also, the normative act stipulates the obligation of economic operators to allow recording and storing information on the conduct of gambling for at least one year. Meanwhile, in all casinos, the entire activity of the lobby, the cashier and the reception will be mandatory supervised by closed circuit television and digitally recorded, permanently and “non-stop”. The legislative act requires operators to ensure sound recordings from the lobby tables.

New rules for online games in Romania

According to the law, websites gambling organizers must contain the:
• gambling organizer’s name, registered address, date and license number of organization and of organizing and operating permits and their validity, and a link to the website of the Ministry of Finance (gambling domain);
• the statement prohibiting gambling participation of persons under 18;
• information on responsible gambling and possible harmful effects of games. The information should be developed in cooperation with a treatment center;
• access to a self-test on gambling addiction;
• information and contact address of a help line where recommendations about gambling problems and addiction treatment centers in Romania and EU member countries should be available;
• play rules for each game offered;
• support center for players;
• information regarding the possible claims players can make;
• information regarding the protection, security and payment transactions;
• terms and conditions regarding the rights and obligations of each party.

Minimum conditions to be satisfied by game platform:
• real-time interactions with the monitoring and reporting system and with the players;
• Management of games’ formulas and game sessions;
• Getting the right to participate in games and awarding prizes offered to players;
• offering awards and payments;
• Assistance and information offered to the players;
• providing free learning classes of the games.

Conditions for conducting online games in Romania – WEB PLATFORM
Among the duties imposed on the organizers of online gambling we mention the following:

– Regulations of the games must include: instructions on how to participate in the game, the game rules and management methods of failures of systems and network transmission, methods and payment of prizes etc.
– On the organizer’s gambling website must be a clock enabling the player to be aware of the time spent while playing.
– On the organizer’s gambling website should be a meter that automatically updates and displays the player’s account balance.
– All information that has to be found on the organizer’s gambling website, according to this Article, shall be available in Romanian.
– The gambling organizer shall send a visible warning message to the player if he is active within a minimum of 12 continuous hours.

– The organizer of online gambling, lottery games and betting organized through Internet communication systems, fixed or mobile systems, offers the player an application that allows him to establish deposit limits daily, weekly and monthly. A request from the player to establish a deposit limit is implemented immediately upon request, but no later than 24 hours.
– The organizer of gambling games must provide the player an application that allows him to decide that the proceeds of earnings above a certain value can be returned automatically in the same way the player has fed the game account initially.

– The organizer of gambling games must provide the player an application that allows him to apply for a temporary or permanent exclusion from the game. A request for exclusion coming from the player should be implemented immediately.
A temporary exclusion may not apply for less than one month, but the player is able to choose a short rest period of 24 hours. A temporary exclusion and a short break from the game involving deactivating the account for that period.
The final exclusion of a player from the game involves closing his account by the organizer. The player may open a new game account only after a minimum period of 6 months from the closing date of the game account.
If a player has shut himself out from participation in a game of the organized by the gambler, the latter must inform the player about the option of counseling and treatment of pathological gambling in a treatment center.
– The gambling organizer shall keep a register of players who want temporary or permanent exclusion.
If after the gambling organizer’s checking he finds reasonable reasons for the suspension of the game account, he closes the account and refunds the player, within 10 working days of the account closing date, only the amounts transferred by the player to his account for the respective game, while the gains obtained by violation of the law will be retained by the organizer of gambling games.
– The amounts seized in violation of the law are under the legal provisions on confiscation and proceeds in violation of the rules of games’ organizer and are detained bt the organizer under the Rules of the game, which mandatory includes this type of situation.
– When ending a game account for any other reasons beyond the player, the organizer of gambling games repays the balance of the game to the player, within 10 working days of the closing date of the account. There are no charges or any fees for closing the game account.
– If the player’s due amounts cannot be transferred to his bank account because this one is no longer valid, the gambling organizer notifies the player within 5 working days, informing him that he can demand repayment of the due amounts within a year.

GENERAL APPROVAL CONDITIONS FOR ORGANIZING AND OPERATING ONLINE GAMBLING GAMES IN ROMANIA

The trader organization seeking license and authorization for online gambling practice must meet the following general conditions:
a) be constituted as a legal person under under the Romanian law, whose main business activity is “gambling and betting”, NACE Code 9200, and the share capital to be subscribed and paid up according to the law;
b) to hold directly or through a shareholder / partner organization the license and operating permit for specific gambling casino activities;
c) to possess the means of gaming and the machines that provide support for the organization, operation and transmission of gambling;
d) to have trained and experienced in information technology personnel;
e) to declare, by notification, processing of personal data to the National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing under the law in force;
f) to have a contract with a monitoring and reporting operator authorized by law;
g) To have all the machines providing support for the organization and transmission of gambling, mandatory in Romania, an exception to this provision being the organizers of such gambling authorized in another Member State of the European Union who have the necessary technical equipment functioning on the territory of a Member State of the European Union, under pledge of their connecting to the organizations stipulated by the legislation in force in Romania.