New Regulations for Romanian Gambling
In a recent government meeting, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu made a bold announcement. He declared that no company would be permitted to operate in the gambling industry unless it had its tax headquarters within Romania’s borders. This significant project was introduced during the meeting, and Ciolacu emphasized the importance of this step. He cited examples of companies with headquarters located “through Transnistria,” raising concerns about their practices.
Prime Minister Ciolacu also pointed out a troubling issue during the COVID-19 pandemic. He accused what he referred to as the “gambling mafia” of having undue influence within the government. According to him, while the pandemic raged on, casinos and slot machines remained open across Romania, while essential institutions such as churches and hospitals were forced to close their doors.
At the outset of the government meeting, Ciolacu stated that an emergency ordinance would be introduced to enforce this tax headquarters requirement. He assured that he had no reservations about potential threats from the slot machine industry and promised that the ordinance would be issued swiftly.
“I will also move forward on gambling regulations. I have no problem with the threats from the slot industry, and on Thursday we will issue an emergency ordinance by which all operators will be obliged to have their tax headquarters in Romania,” stated Ciolacu.
Furthermore, he indicated that a proposed law in the Parliament, which aims to relocate gambling halls outside localities, would undergo a rapid adoption process. This law would place strict limitations on the proximity of gambling establishments to populated areas.
“I am convinced that the state authorities will shed light on how these intermediaries want to pressure certain politicians to make decisions in favor of this industry, as has happened in the past. As they did during the pandemic when the gambling mafia was at the Government’s table. Slots were open all over Romania, while churches and hospitals were closed,” said Ciolacu.
Marcel Ciolacu made these statements during an event at the “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, where he attended the opening of the academic year. He emphasized that the ban on gambling operations would apply specifically to companies without their headquarters in Romania.
“In the meeting from Thursday, I will come with the gambling reform. No company, if it does not have its headquarters in Romania, will no longer be able to have this activity on the territory of Romania,” he declared.
Earlier, on Saturday, Marcel Ciolacu had raised concerns about potential “blackmail” targeting him and other Romanian officials following his proposal of a draft law to remove gambling halls from populated areas. He called for an investigation into whether these actions constituted a violation of the law or were merely isolated incidents.
The bill advocating the removal of gambling halls from towns had been approved by senators in early September. According to the legislative initiative, gambling licenses would be granted based on the number of inhabitants in the locality, as confirmed by a certificate issued by the local public administration authority. This means that there would be, at most, one gambling establishment per 20,000 inhabitants.
The draft law aims to amend GEO 77/2009 and was initiated by a group of MPs from the PSD. It specifies that gambling venues should be located no more than 50 meters from the territorial limit of the city, municipality, or commune, including the capital city of Bucharest.
This legislation affects all betting agencies, casinos, or slot machine establishments, with the exception of lottery agencies selling their own products. The draft law will now proceed to the Chamber of Deputies, the decision-making body in this case.
What is the key announcement made by Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu regarding gambling companies?
Prime Minister Ciolacu has declared that gambling companies must have their tax headquarters within Romania to operate in the industry.
What issue did Marcel Ciolacu raise about companies operating “through Transnistria”?
Ciolacu raised concerns about companies with headquarters located “through Transnistria” and their practices in the gambling sector.
Why did Marcel Ciolacu accuse the “gambling mafia” during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ciolacu accused the “gambling mafia” of having undue influence within the government, alleging that while churches and hospitals were closed during the pandemic, casinos and slot machines remained open.
What immediate action is expected regarding gambling regulations in Romania?
An emergency ordinance is set to be issued, requiring all gambling operators to establish their tax headquarters in Romania.
What is the proposed law related to gambling halls in Romania?
The proposed law aims to relocate gambling halls outside populated areas and place restrictions on their proximity to localities.
What is the basis for granting gambling licenses according to the legislative initiative?
Licenses will be granted based on the number of inhabitants in the locality, with a limit of one gambling establishment per 20,000 inhabitants.
How close to populated areas should gambling establishments be located according to the draft law?
The draft law specifies that gambling venues should be located no more than 50 meters from the territorial limit of the city, municipality, or commune, including Bucharest.
Which entities in the gambling industry are exempt from the proposed legislation?
The proposed law applies to all betting agencies, casinos, or slot machine establishments, with the exception of lottery agencies selling their own products.
Where will the draft law proceed for further consideration?
The draft law will advance to the Chamber of Deputies, which is the decision-making body in this case.
What action did Marcel Ciolacu request regarding potential “blackmail” targeting him and other officials?
As the Prime Minister, Ciolacu requested an investigation to determine if there had been a violation of the law or if the incidents were isolated.