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The last variant of the project aiming to raise gambling taxes proposed by the Romanian Government would only affect players of online gaming platforms, while customers of traditional gambling operators are exempted from taxes for all withdrawals under 66.750 RON.
According to the most recent version discussed by authorities, winnings until 10.000 RON are taxed with 3%, those until 66.750 RON are taxed with 20%, and the ones exceeding this sum are taxed with 40%. At the same time, participants of traditional gambling providers, such as casinos, poker clubs and slot machines are exempted from taxation until 66.750 RON.
“We are, in fact, talking about the exclusive taxation of winnings of distance games, all other players are excluded from taxation until a significantly high value. Thus, we are taxing the cleanest operators, those which apply the most advanced systems that ensure responsible gaming, protection of minors and the 100% clean registration of winnings. It is an uncompetitive measure that modifies the market in terms of the type of operator, traditional or online, of the same games, and gambling providers will contest it,” declared Odeta Nestor, president of AOJND (Asociația Organizatorilor de Jocuri de Noroc la Distanță – Association of Distance Gambling Operators [free translation]), the organization uniting the main gambling operators licenced in Romania.
AOJND is asking for a tax exemption to be applied to players of online gambling platforms up to an amount of 600 RON for an equitable measure.
According to data collected by AOJND, the increase of taxes affecting players will lead to the decrease of the number of people visiting online operators, which will instead move towards unlicensed sites in Romania. Therefore, state profits will decrease instead of increasing. Additionally, Romania remains the only country in the EU that taxes withdrawals instead of winnings, and so the impact of a substantial tax increase is significantly higher.
AOJND restates that the application of this tax from August 1, 2022, is impossible for online gambling operators from a technical point of view, since they need to modify their digital systems, which are audited by independent organs, according to legislation.