New Gambling Legislation – the Third Part: New Conditions that Remote (Online) Gambling Operators Must Fulfill

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Published in “Casino Inside”, issue 53

The economic operator applying for a licence and authorisation to organise online gambling games must meet, among others, the following requirements (which are expected to change following the Parliament’s adoption of the law for approving GEO 92/2014):

  • to be set up as (i) a Romanian legal person established under the Romanian law or a (ii) legal person duly established in (a) a Member State of the European Union, (b) a Contracting State of the Agreement on the European Economic Area or (c) the Swiss Confederation;
  • holds a bank account with a bank licensed in Romania, or with an authorised bank in another EU Member State or in another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or in the Swiss Confederation but which operates on Romanian territory, in which to deposit the players’ money and winnings;
  • the central information system must have a system for recording and identifying participants in the game, a system where simultaneous gambling sessions, participation fees paid by players and winnings paid out to players are transmitted and saved in real time to a mirror server and a backup server on Romanian territory, both of which are provided to the ONJN free of charge; the central information system must automatically record every transaction, in real time, to the mirror server made available to the ONJN and transmit regular summary reports to the backup server;
  • the software used to run remote gambling games, as well as any new software version used to run remote gambling games must be approved in advance by the ONJN based on tests carried out by an authorised laboratory;
  • in case of organizers established in a Member State of the European Union, in a Contracting State of the Agreement on the European Economic Area or in the Swiss Confederation, the organizers must have an “authorized representative” of the company and the representative must reside in Romania and be authorized to represent the organizer before the State authorities and the Romanian courts. Whether the “authorized representative” can also be a legal entity having its headquarters in Romania is currently under debate;
  • the game server and the mirror server must store all data related to the provision of remote gambling services, including records and identification of the players, the stakes placed and the winnings paid out. Information must be stored using data storage equipment (mirror server) situated on Romanian territory;
  • the communication equipment must record the geographical location of a player’s IP address, as well as the date, time and duration of their game session, once they have registered as a participant in a game on the organiser’s website. The data will be stored for no less than five years from the date of its collection and processing;
  • the communication equipment and the central location at which the organiser’s central information system will be installed must be on Romanian territory or on the territory of another EU Member State or another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or in the Swiss Confederation;
  • to create a fund guaranteeing the amounts/deposits held in players’ accounts within the conditions to be regulated by means of an Order issued by the President of ONJN.

In addition, the economic operator licensed for online gambling activities must make all the payments to players only through a payment processor which is licensed by the ONJN.

Additional legal requirements for online gambling operators may be set forth in the secondary legislation.

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