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Romanian government plans to tax online gambling withdrawals

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New changes to Romania’s legislative framework will mean new tax laws for those withdrawing funds from an online casino.

It's no secret that gambling in Romania has always been a pastime that the country embraced with open arms. Since as far back as 1906 when the first national lottery was created, gambling and Romanians have gone hand in hand.

The country first invested in online gambling (namely sports betting) in 2003 but it was only in 2010 that the government made online gambling legal with a valid operator license like there is for other EU online casinos. Without a regulator in place, this caused more harm than good as casinos offered their services to Romanians illegally without any consequences.

In April 2013, a gambling regulator was set in place and new licenses started to roll out. Along with that, the country also placed many operators on a blacklist to protect their players as much as possible.

New Fiscal Code and tax on withdrawals

At the end of June 2022, the Ministry of Finance published a new Fiscal Code that changed the tax laws of Romania.

These new laws suggested that players who withdraw funds from online casinos could pay as much as 40% in tax on those withdrawals.

Before then, the taxes ranged from 1% to 25% per withdrawal, depending on the amount in question. A massive bump of this proportion was immediately opposed by the Association of Remote Gambling Organisations (AOJND). The AOJND stated that this change would push players to blacklisted sites.

“I have often emphasised that Romania is a success story in terms of gambling legislation. But this situation depends on the ability of the authorities to maintain an attractive legislative and fiscal framework,” said AOJND president, Odeta Nestor.

These taxes seem to be a harsh addition to gambling laws in Romania, especially considering that the UK has no taxes on gambling winnings. While providers such as IGT may add taxes on big jackpot rewards, taxes are not the norm in the industry.

Adjusted withdrawal fees are cut in Romania

A few weeks after the original suggestion of a 40% tax on gambling winnings in the country, the Romanian government has made adjustments to the Fiscal Code. While the 40% tax still stands, the government has adjusted when it will apply to players who win while gambling on the lottery, slot machines, and poker games.

The changes can be seen in the following table:

Current Tax Laws  First Tax Proposal New Tax Changes
Withdrawals below RON 66,750 – 1% tax Withdrawals below RON 3000 – 10% tax Withdrawals below RON 10,000 – 3% tax
Withdrawals between RON 66,750 and 445,000 – 16% tax Withdrawals between RON 3000 and 10,000 – 20% tax Withdrawals between RON 10,000 and 66,750 – 20% tax
Withdrawals above RON 445,000 – 25% tax Withdrawals over RON 10,000 – 40% tax Withdrawals above RON 66,750 – 40% tax

Commenting on the new changes proposed by the government, the AOJND said:

“The Romanian Government passed legislation to amend the existing legal framework for gambling. Major changes include an advertising fee, increased annual fees including for software manufacturers and a scale to tax players based on their winnings. Amid these major changes we remain cautious, and we closely monitor the market and its reactions to this new reality.”

It remains to be seen how the public will take to these tax adjustments and if it will affect where players choose to make their deposits from now on.

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