Stormy times are ahead for Romania’s gambling and betting industry if the newly initiated law is passed.
According to its initiator, one Liberal senator, the law draft comes following the decision of the WHO – World Health Organization. The organization included gambling addiction among the most severe psychic disease. Also, the law’s initiators motivated the initiative by the numerous suicide cases following gambling loss.
Actually, the lawmakers want the current law to be modified by inserting one article stipulating that:
Any form of advertising for casinos, gambling or betting is prohibited.Proposed article to regulate gambling advertising in Romania
The Romanian gambling industry is going to take a severe hit
The Romanian gambling industry contributes to the state budget with more than EUR 600 million in yearly taxes and hires 45,000 workers.
According to the latest study on the industry, 15% of the Romanian population over 18 had gambled at least once in the last year. One Romanian man out of 4 had gambled at least once in the last year at the time of the study, while the percentage of women who ticked this activity was 7%. The profile of loyal customers, who play at least once a week, consists of men between 18 and 24, single and from the urban environment.
The level of education of gamblers is average, and probably, this is also the profile of those who react emotionally to online ads or TV commercials.
On the other hand, Romania is in the European average, 0.5 – 2% passionate gamblers from the total population over 18 years old, according to the most recent study by GfK Romania. This means that the gambling industry in Romania doesn’t create more addicts than in civilized countries, but playing responsibly should be more than a slogan.
Either way, if the new draft passes the Romanian MPs’ votes, more industries will be hit. The first one is the gambling industry, but there will be more, including the advertising industry, TV stations and online platforms. Lastly, the Romanian state would also be hit, as substantial funds would not get to the state budget.
To be honest, this initiative seems like a socialist, not a liberal one. Let’s not forget that, at the moment, liberals have a coalition with socialists, and this might mislead their political compass.
A reply from the Romanian gambling industry is expected these days, but the law is in the Senate to be adopted urgently.