Romania’s New Gambling Regulations: What You Need to Know
The Romanian Government introduced Emergency Government Ordinance no. 82/2023 (EGO 82/2023), amending the existing regulations governing games of chance. This article provides an overview of the key changes brought about by EGO 82/2023 and its potential impact on the iGaming industry in Romania.
Key Changes in EGO 82/2023
EGO 82/2023, which became effective on October 6, 2023, introduces several significant changes to the gambling regulatory framework in Romania.
One of the most notable changes is the requirement for online gambling operators to either establish a company in Romania or register a permanent establishment in the country. This change means that all revenue generated from gambling activities must now be recognized in Romania.
Tax Implications for Online Gambling Operators
In addition to the existing gambling-specific taxes, EGO 82/2023 imposes corporate income tax on profits generated in Romania from gambling activities.
This means that online gambling companies operating in Romania will have to navigate a more complex tax landscape.
Licensing and Authorization Requirements
EGO 82/2023 outlines strict licensing and authorization requirements for online gambling operators. To obtain or maintain their licenses, operators must either be registered or headquartered in Romania or have a permanent establishment in Romania through which all gambling revenues are recognized.
Importantly, this change allows operators based in an EEA state to continue operations in Romania as long as they establish a permanent establishment in the country.
Challenges and Uncertainties
The implementation of EGO 82/2023 comes with its share of challenges and uncertainties. While the ordinance stipulates that gambling activities must be “exploited directly by the licence holder,” it remains unclear whether this means operators must operate from their base or their permanent establishment in Romania.
Additionally, the grace period for compliance with these new regulations is relatively short, leading to concerns about the practicality of reorganizational measures.
Authorizations Up for Renewal
One pressing question arising from EGO 82/2023 is how online gambling operators with authorizations up for renewal within the six-month grace period will comply with the new requirements.
Since authorizations are contingent on the operator being a Romanian company or an EEA company with a permanent establishment in Romania, this issue remains unaddressed in the ordinance.
The changes introduced by EGO 82/2023 represent a significant shift in the Romanian gambling landscape, particularly for online gambling operators. As the industry navigates these regulatory changes, there will be a need for clarity, practical solutions, and a clear path forward for operators affected by these amendments. Stay tuned for further developments in Romania’s evolving iGaming sector.