Romanian Online Gambling Laws Not Conforming to E.U. Rules

Published Friday, March 04, 2011 -

The European Commission has issued a warning to Romania for the second time, regarding the Balkan nation’s reforms of the online gambling regulations. The EC is maintaining that the country's proposed reforms do not comply with current European Union regulations for e-commerce.

The Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), Sigrid Ligné, said, “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 to face the launch of an infringement proceeding by the European Commission”. Under the non compliance procedure started by the Commission, the first phase is the pre litigation administrative phase which is also called “Infringement proceedings” The purpose of this pre-litigation stage is to enable the Member State to conform voluntarily with the requirements of the Treaty.

Back in October 2010 the EC rejected the first draft of reforms presented by the Romanian government.  It was the European Commission, Malta and the United Kingdom who had reservations about the draft’s compliance with European Union laws. Romania went ahead an implemented the legislation as presented in December of 2010 without E.C. approvals.
Ligne explained further, “Today’s detailed opinions extends the standstill period until 1st April 2011, during which Romania cannot adopt the implementing regulations,” adding,  “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.”

Provisions in the draft laws proposed by Romania that are considered questionable and are of concern to the European Commission include the requirement for E.U. licensed online gaming companies to be established in Romania and the draft law that allows operators to apply for an online gaming licence only if they are directly or indirectly involved with a shareholder or partner in a Romanian land-based gaming operation.






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