Thursday December 12,2013 : GOOD NEWS FOR ROMANIAN PUNTERS
New tax proposals shift the burden to operators
The Romanian land and nascent online gambling industry could see some radical changes in taxation in the near future, but punters will be pleased that the burden of taxation might be shifted to the operators.
The latest proposals call for entry taxes to be doubled, motivated by the impossibility of efficiently administering and monitoring the individual gambling activity of players. The changes envisaged include an additional Euro 200 a year levy on each slot machine offered for the use of punters.
"Slot machines operators agree it is impossible for companies and the tax administration to highlight how much a gambler actually wins, and tax it, so they welcome the change, even if it represents a tax increase," Romania Insider notes.
Previously, only bingo, betting and lottery earnings were taxed, but the state now plans to double the revenue earned by increasing the taxes paid by gambling operators. Last year, the state cashed in some Euro 7.5 million from gambling income taxes levied on the punters.
There are around 68,000 slot machines in Romania, a business estimated by Romanian media as worth around Euro 1 billion a year.
Under the new proposals, the casinos will no longer have to apply a 25 percent withholding tax on winnings for gamblers. This tax never really worked and the state made little profit from it, according to Odeta Nistor, head of the Romanian National Office for Gambling.
Under new proposals, mixed, mutual and counterpart bets will be subject to a 2 percent tax on the net earnings for each ticket, replacing the existing system which applies a 25 percent tax on the earnings from multiple tickets. A similar 2 percent tax will also be applied to video lottery games.
Online gambling operators will have to pay the Romanian state a tax of 0.1 percent for each played hand.
The tax changes will be underpinned by tough regulations aimed at excluding unlicensed companies from the Romanian online and land gambling market. These include National Office for Gambling monitoring of licensed operators via mirror servers, ISP blocking and blacklists,