Romanian parliament considers betting advertising ban

Lea Hogg 1 year ago
Romanian parliament considers betting advertising ban

A clampdown on advertising may be implemented when a bill is passed by the Romanian Government on the promotion of gaming products.

A motion in the Romanian parliament has been put forward by Adrian Cozma MP, a politician and legislator from the National Liberal Party (PNL), to ban all forms of advertising for casino and iGaming products.

It is reported that legislation will be heavily amended to partially prohibit advertising from ‘games of chance’.  Consequently several media houses have reported that the Vice President of the NLP who is also the President of the Romanian Senate, Alina Gorghiu, has put forward amendments that will dilute her fellow party member’s proposed bill.

However the saga goes on as Cozma said that this will dilute the law and will not achieve the “intended effect” of the proposed amendments.

Daniel Fenechiu also of PNL is supporting amendments proposed by the President of the Senate.  He is backing Gorghiu’s proposal as part of the new parliamentary bill.

Proposed amendment

Betting ads will be allowed to be shown during live sports broadcasts and at night on radio and TV, between 11pm and 6am. The changes will enable some forms of marketing to continue, including advertising in public spaces in areas smaller than 30 square metres.

Gorghiu and Fenechiu propose the continuation of some form of advertising in order to promote the activities of the regulated marketing provided that players are protected.

I hope, however, that in the Chamber of Deputies the law will be voted in the form that I submitted. I still support the initial project, which was signed by more than 80 deputies.” – Adrian Cozma, MP

The last amendments to the main legislation governing the Romanian gambling industry were made in 2015. The position of the National Gambling Authority as the recognised authority to grant licences was sealed.

Gorghiu’s proposition

President Gorghiu strongly believes that completely banning advertising of gambling products that include companies licensed within the Romanian jurisdiction would have a very negative impact on the sector. She also pointed out the importance of ensuring that a safe environment is created to protect players participating in gambling activities.

The bill would be passed on to the Chamber of Deputies next week if it is voted in by the Senate plenary. The conclusion is still unclear however it is evident that the betting and gaming sector is in the spotlight in Romania.

Romania’s media monitoring agency known as the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) has already voted unanimously in favour of the ‘draft law’ to amend Romania’s current advertising regulations. Public health lobby groups have voiced concerns likening gambling addition to mental illness and public wellbeing. This wave of thought was also evident in the UK where the government white paper on reforms of gambling regulation is much awaited for.

Background

The National Gambling Office  is a ‘sub-office’ of the Government of Romania. It regulates the Romanian gambling market. It is empowered to enforce the law as well as  awarding licences in the jurisdiction to gambling operations. It is a specialised body of the central public administration

Gaming in Romania: With a population of over 19 million, Romania presents a massive, nearly untapped, opportunity for the gaming sector. Most of the gambling activity is concentrated in or around Bucharest. More than 80 percent of of adult Romanians are regular internet users and the country is considered to be one of the most technologically advance in Eastern Europe. Notably Romania has one of the fastest internet connections globally (15.27 megabits per second), taking second place just after South Korea (17.62 megabits per second).

Online gambling. Romania has a long history of regulated gambling. The national lottery known as the Loteria Romana was established in 1906. During the reign of Nicolae Ceaușescu, gambling was forbidden. When his government was overthrown, gambling was legalised in 1990. Currently 13,000 bookies, 1,900 lottery points, 15,000 gambling halls and 20 ground casinos operate in the country.

Geopolitics and stability. The country’s geopolitical stability, innovative technology and developed financial services sector together with a potential of nine million players make Romania one of the most suitable jurisdictions for the sector.

Romanian Parliament: The Parliament of Romania consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

The National Liberal Party is the second largest political party in Romania and is considered to be liberal-conservative.

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