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Romania Secures Windfall from Online Gaming Back Tax
- March 10, 2016 By Nemanja L. -
Recent reports are suggesting that Romanian government’s decision to ensure all remote operators who apply for a new license are obliged to pay back tax on total revenue made from Romanian players has seriously boosted the country’s economy in 2015.
The Eastern European country long resisted temptation to create a regulated gambling market, but recent number have made it clear they should have voted the new legislation much earlier.
Namely, the National Office of Gambling (ONJN) has announced that the country has earned €269 million from gambling taxes in 2015, which is a huge 71 per cent increase when compared to previous year.
Some €70 million was collected from gambling license fees and authorization costs in 2015, which certainly made the biggest difference, but there was another important reason why the earnings have soared last year.
Operators Taxed on Revenue from 2009 Onwards
In order to be granted a gaming license, all gaming operators were required to pay a back tax of 20% on their total revenue made from Romanian gamblers since 2009.
This is not the first time a country has resorted to the unconventional measures as Spain had done the same before they legalized the online gambling market in 2013.
Having seen how both Spain and Romania have profited from this arrangement, chances are that many European countries will be looking to follow suit, although nobody knows what will happen if a country like Russia request back tax as well.
Since the legal framework was in place, Romania has issued a total of 19 online gaming licenses, with 12 of these going to operators based in the European Union.
bet365, Bwin.party Denied Gaming Licenses
However, the likes of bet365 and Bwin.party surprisingly had access to their domains blocked despite doing everything that was required to comply with back tax regulations.
The country has made another step towards a fully legalized online gaming market by ending the temporary licensing format and ensuring the 19 issued licenses now have a permanent status.
Romanian residents are famous for enjoying placing bets on sporting event, with an estimated more than one million of 19.5m residents believed to be active punters, totalling to over €1 billion in wagers per year.