In Romania, southeastern Europe, the government is currently planning, among other things, a significant increase in fees for online casinos. Accordingly, the Romanian Ministry of Finance presented a new catalog of fees around two weeks ago that is quite something. Given the sharp rise in fees, will it still be economically possible for providers to operate successfully on the market?
The gambling system is currently being reformed in Romania. While numerous player protection measures have been introduced in Germany, such as the minimum playing time of five seconds and the autospin ban, Romania obviously relies primarily on high fees for gambling providers. The new fee schedule was recently proposed by the government and is currently being voted on. The operators of online casinos in particular have to expect high fees.
500,000 euros fees per online casino in Romania
According to the magazine “iGaming Business”, the Romanian Ministry of Finance is planning to completely adjust the fee structure for gambling offers in the country. Specifically, every gaming operator should pay annual fees depending on the gaming offering offered. The planned fees per online casino should be, for example, 500,000 euros per year. This means that an online gambling provider has to spend an average of over 41,500 euros per month in order to be able to legally offer its offer in Romania – the fees for the provider amount to just under 1,400 euros per day.
The annual fee for lotteries should be 200,000 euros and for stationary poker or bingo 5,000 euros per club or venue. In addition, stationary casinos should shell out 4,000 euros per gaming table per year and slot machine operators should shell out 100 euros per slot machine.
The fees collected should then be divided as follows:
- 70% Romanian state budget
- 30% responsible gaming (e.g. addictive offers, initiatives).
It can be seen at first glance that the fees for online offers are significantly higher than in the stationary gaming sector. Consequently, the Romanian government obviously wants to strengthen the stationary business.
Romania is around 240,000 square kilometers in size and lies on the Black Sea. Almost 20 million people currently live here. The head of state is President Klaus Johannis. The neighboring countries include Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova. The capital of Romania is Bucharest.
It is questionable how many gambling companies will even apply for a gambling license in Romania given the fact that they have to pay half a million euros in fees per year.
The high government fees are not the only hurdle that gaming providers will have to overcome in the future. In addition, licensees must prove to the Romanian authorities that they are financially well positioned to continue paying the fees in the future. In order to increase state revenue, the Greek government decided in the summer of 2022 to increase the stake limit from 2 to 20 euros.
Are the high fees in Romania endangering the sewage system?
We have already addressed the question in several places as to whether gambling regulations that are too strict and fees or taxes that are too high can jeopardize channelization. For example, in March 2021 an article was about whether the declining channelization in Sweden is a warning signal for other countries.
It is conceivable that annual fees of half a million euros per online casino will mean that there will be no attractive legal offerings in Romania. Given the exorbitantly high fees, the licensed providers would ultimately be forced to adjust the payout rates downwards accordingly – and the player would ultimately no longer have any desire to play with poor winning chances. It will therefore be exciting to see how the situation on the Romanian gaming market will develop further!