√ New requirements for obtaining licences
√ Substantial increase of licence and other fees
√ Limitations on advertising
Significant changes to Government Emergency Ordinance no. 77/2009 on the organisation and operation of gambling activities (the Gambling Law) have been recently enacted in Romania through Emergency Ordinance no. 82/2023 (the Ordinance).
The main purpose of the amendments is to ensure that certain operators are incorporated or have their permanent establishment in Romania, so that the tax on income produced in Romania can be collected and to increase overall the fees.
Most relevant amendments include:
- New requirements for obtaining licences. The operators who organise and operate gambling activity in Romania have to either (i) incorporate their company in Romania or (ii) have a permanent establishment in Romania if the company is legally incorporated in a member state of the European Union, in a state signatory of the European Economic Area Agreement or in the Swiss Confederation. For the already licensed operators, transitory provisions are provided. Thus, within six months from the entry into force of the Ordinance, the operators must either (i) request the National Office for Gambling (NOG) the transfer of the existing licence to an existing or newly incorporated company in Romania or to a legal person which has its permanent establishment in Romania, (ii) register their permanent establishment in Romania and request the assignment of the licence to it or (iii) obtain a new licence.
- Substantial increase in licence and other fees. Gambling fees have been significantly increased for both organisers (class 1) and service providers (class 2)
For class 2 operators (including operators which offer management and hosting facilities on gaming platforms, develop and/or distribute software, affiliates, entities which produce, distribute, repair, maintain means of gaming for the purpose of being sold or used in Romania etc.):
- Annual licence tax increased from EUR 9,500 to EUR 20,000;
- The licence issuance fee increased from EUR 9,500 to EUR 10,500/licence;
- The annual responsible gaming fee increased from EUR 1,000 to EUR 15,000.
The deadline for payment of such taxes remains the same.
As the Ordinance does not provide a specific date from which the new fees shall apply, all payments that are due starting with 6 October 2023 should fall under its provisions.
- Advertising limitations. Outdoor gambling advertisements which exceed 35 sqm/panel/advertising material are prohibited. Failure to comply with such obligation represents an administrative offence and entails the payment of a fine ranging from EUR 10,000-20,000.
- New public registry. NOG must create and update a national public registry accessible online, which will comprise the name of the licensed operators, the headquarter address, the address of each commercial space in which the operator conducts gambling activities, indicating the correspondent authorised types of games, the series and address at which each licensed/authorised means of gaming is located.
 As published in the Official Gazette on 6 October 2023.
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