Another Attempt for Romanian Online Gambling Regulations

European Commission rejects it again

This week, Romania has noted another unsuccessful attempt at getting its proposed online gambling regulations through the European Commission, which once again rejected the proposal due to its concerns that the proposed regulations may be adverse to the EU law.

The following provisions in the Romanian draft are questionable in terms of EU law, and therefore may be the reason of the Commission’s concern:

* The requirement for EU licensed online gaming companies to be established in Romania

* Allowing operators to apply for an online gaming licence only if they are directly or indirectly involved (shareholder or partner) in a Romanian land-based gaming operation

It was stated by Sigrid Ligné, secretary general for EGBA, which reported of this new development: “The European Commission has now confirmed its assessment according to which the Romanian law is in breach of EU law. This should bring the Romanian authorities to urgently and substantially redraft their legislation in accordance with EU rules. Romania is otherwise running the risk of facing an infringement proceeding by the European Commission”.

The first time this proposal was rejected was in October 2010, when the European Commission, Malta and the United Kingdom expressed strong reservations about the draft’s compliance with EU law. Yet, this didn’t prevent Romania from enforcing this framework legislation on 24 December 2010.

"Today’s detailed opinions extends the standstill period until 1st April 2011, during which Romania cannot adopt the implementing regulations," Ligne explained. "Romania is required to reply to the Commission’s views. If Romania fails to take into account the Commission’s objections, the Commission could decide to launch infringement proceedings."

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