ROMANIA PLANS A RETROACTIVE TAX ON INTERNET GAMBLING OPERATORS
08th May, 2015 at 10:13:10
Hardly the way to encourage licensees and build an industry.
This week's approval of an amended online gambling law by Romania's parliament includes a provision which is unlikely to appeal to operators who have been previously active in the country prior to a formal framework.
Legislators have included clauses which levy a retroactive 20% tax on business conducted since 2009....hardly an encouragement for operators to line up for licensing, and evoking industry memories of the Spanish retroactive tax raid several years ago (see previous reports).
The idea is that the National Office of Gambling will assess how much back-tax is owed from numbers assembled through an audit of the books of aspirant operators, who will then have three months to pay up.
This will expunge any unlicensed activity from the records of the applicants, enabling them to progress a licensing application.
The provisions are backed by enforcement measures that include the now familiar ISP blocking, blacklists and possible financial transactions interference.
It appears from local media reports that the legislation is done and dusted, awaiting only the signature of the national president to be entered into the Romanian law books.
Other provisions in the act include defining which operators may apply, specifically Romanian legal entities, companies registered in a European Union (EU) Member State, or in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or the Swiss Confederation.
Provided the operator installs a mirror server in Romania, the operators' servers can be located anywhere in the EU.
It's taken six years to reach the current stage, with the government softening some of its earlier demands on operators.
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