Retrospective Tax for Online Operators Posed in Romania

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Published in “World Online Gambling Law Report”, April issue

A proposed amendment to Romania’s online gambling legislation that would require online gambling operators to pay retrospective tax on preregulatory operations, which is
included in the Budget Committee’s Report and was passed on 21 April, is now up for consideration by the Deputies Chamber on 29April.

The draft law that will approve Emergency Ordinance number 92/2014, which will amend the primary piece of gambling legislation in Romania, is currently being debated in the Romanian Parliament and further changes, such as the retrospective tax introduced by the Budget, Finance and Banks Committee,may be introduced. The draft secondary legislation, which was notified to the European Commission on 9 April, is also to be approved by the Romanian Government and should take into account any amendments to the Emergency Ordinance.

Regarding how the retrospective tax will be calculated, Ana-Maria Baciu, Partner at Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Peterson explains that “for the moment, it seems that the tax would be calculated as a licence fee (RON 400,000, approx. €90,000 per year until February 2015, respectively a variable fee, depending on turnover, for the period after February 2015) plus a percentage (the current proposal states 20%) of GGR. However, the period for which the retrospective tax will apply has not yet been determined.”

The rationale behind the amendment seems to be the desire of the Romanian government to collect some money from online gambling operators that have accepted players from Romania, whilst lacking the proper authorization from the Romanian authorities do so. “While we think it is highly likely that the amendment will be adopted into the law, the final format under which such an amendment will be approved will come to light only after the vote in the Deputies Chamber,”said Baciu.

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