October 12, 2010

EC: Romanian draft egaming law is uncompliant

The European Commission (EC) has expressed doubts about the compatibility of draft Romanian egaming legislation with EU law, which means that Romania cannot implement the legislation in its current form.
According to the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), which campaigns for a single European egaming market, a number of provisions in the draft were unlikely to comply with EU law, including: “[T]he discriminatory prohibition of marketing and advertising activities for EU-licensed companies which are not authorised in Romania”; the requirement for EU licensed online betting companies to be established and have their servers in Romania; and “the unjustified exclusion of online pool betting while all other forms of online gambling would be allowed.”

Sigrid Ligné, secretary general of EGBA, said: “EGBA notes that Romania is the third country in the last 12 months to receive a detailed opinion from the European Commission and will have as in the case of Denmark and Poland to re-notify and adjust its draft legislation.

“While we support Romania’s legitimate wish to regulate its online gaming market, it is important from a consumer protection perspective that national gambling policies are consistent. As confirmed by the ECJ in its recent rulings, there are less restrictive means than forced establishment to monitor and control the online gaming and betting market.”

The Romanian draft legislation was notified to the European Commission and member states on 2 July. The opinion will extend the standstill period until 3 November. Romania will then have to amend the legislation according to the EC’s response.

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