The European Union (EU) has restrictions on gambling. As in other matters, member states are allowed to enact harsher restrictions, but are required to accept the European Union’s gambling legislation. Romania’s government proposed new Romanian gambling laws which have been rejected by the European Commission (EC).
Of concern to the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), Romania’s proposed legislation has multiple requirements which are unacceptably protectionist:
– Even other EU licensed online companies must have an establishment in Romania.
– Even other EU licensed online sportsbooks must have their servers in Romania.
– Marketing and advertising, even for EU licensed companies, must be explicitly authorized in Romania
An additional rejected and seemingly arbitrarily provision continues to prohibit online pool betting despite all other forms of internet gambling in Romania becoming legal.
Sigrid Ligné, Secretary General of EGBA, conceded that Romania has a valid desire to regulate its internet gambling market. However, he referred to recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings when asserting that there are “less restrictive means than forced establishment to monitor and control the online gaming and betting market.” He emphasized the importance of protecting consumers, which the EGBA feels is best accomplished by maintaining consistent national gambling regulations.
Romania must comply with the EC’s opinion. If Romania proceeds to adopt its draft legislation, the Commission is empowered to initiate infringement proceedings.