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Romania Tries again for proposed online gambling regulations
Posted 3/2/11 : Romania tries again.
Romania's second attempt at driving its proposed online gambling regulations through the European Commission has failed, reports the trade group European Gaming and Betting Association.
This week the Commission issued its second detailed opinion rejecting the proposed reforms on internet gambling, a move that implies serious concerns in the Commission that the Romanian proposal may conflict with EU law.
EGBA has already identified a number of provisions in the Romanian draft which are questionable in terms of EU law, both in the main framework legislation and in the draft regulations implementing the framework legislation. This includes in particular:
* The requirement for EU licensed online gaming companies to be established in Romania
* Allowing operators to apply for an online gaming licence only if they are directly or indirectly involved (shareholder or partner) in a Romanian land-based gaming operation
Sigrid Ligné, secretary general for EGBA, commented: “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 of facing an infringement proceeding by the European Commission”.
In October 2010 the European Commission, Malta and the United Kingdom expressed strong reservations about the compliance of Romania’s draft framework legislation with EU law (see previous InfoPowa report). However, Romania decided to enforce its framework legislation on 24 December 2010, despite the remaining inconsistencies and possible conflict with EU law.
This second detailed opinion, questions further Romania’s reforms, which will make it significantly difficult for EU licensed and regulated operators to apply for a licence in Romania.
The Romanian draft implementing regulations notified to the European Commission and Member States on 30 November 2010 also received a detailed opinion from Malta and comments from the UK.
"Today’s detailed opinions extends the standstill period until 1st April 2011, during which Romania cannot adopt the implementing regulations," Ligne explained. "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."
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