As the saying goes – ‘if you first don’t succeed, try and try again.’ The European Commission rejected for the second time the newest proposed Romanian gambling laws along with the regulatory framework. On December 24, 2010 the framework was rejected and sent back along with a detailed review outlining issues which need to be fixed.
In a second detailed review, the EU Comission hinted at some of the reasons behind the second refusal which point to fundamental issues within the proposed Romanian gambling laws which are incompatible with EU laws.
Romania submitted both the draft legislation along with the main framework legislation. European Gaming & Betting Association, which examined both the Romanian framework as well as the draft legislation based on the framework disclosed that ‘both contain a large number of provisions which are incompatable with EU laws.’ The most important points of contention, were explained to Romania during the first rejection of the framework, but yet remained in the second draft, surprising EU regulators:
1) Romania requires all EU licensed online casinos, sportsbooks and online poker sites in Romania to be established within the country.
2) Only partners or large shareholders of Romanian land-based casinos are allowed for apply for a licence to operate an online casino in Romania.
The regulations are viewed as a farce since all the major shareholders, as well as partners in Romanian brick-and-mortar casinos, are native Romanians, making it practically impossible for EU businesses to be approved for a license.
Sigrid Ligné, the EGBA secretary general stated that – ‘Today’s detailed opinions extends the standstill period until 1st April 2011, during which Romania cannot adopt the implementing regulations. The Romanian authorities must urgently and substantially redraft their legislation in accordance with EU rules. If Romania fails to take into account the Commission’s objections, the Commission could decide to launch infringement proceedings.’