Romania sets new 2% iGaming turnover tax

4 January 2019

The Romanian government has introduced a new 2% monthly turnover tax for online gambling operators licensed in the country.

Published late last month in Romania’s Official Gazette, Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) 114/2018 requires operators to pay an additional 2% on iGaming turnover from January 1, 2019. The tax is payable by the 25th of the following month, meaning the first payment is not due until February 25.

The tax will be imposed in addition to existing licence and authorisation requirements. Operators holding licences from national regulator Oficiul National Pentru Jocuri de Noroc (ONJN) currently pay a rate of 16% on gross revenue generated from Romanian players. 

However, despite the blow of facing additional taxes, the 2% rate is lower than the rates discussed in an initial version of the GEO in mid-December. At that time the government was considering a 5% tax on annual online gaming turnover, as well as a 3% annual turnover tax for companies operating land-based facilities in Romania.

The original daft also set out plans to retroactively apply the new turnover tax on companies’ 2018 finance. However, criticism from across the industry led to the government switching to a monthly tax in the final GEO, which only applies to turnover generated from January 1 onwards.

The published GEO 114/2018 also sets out measures for iGaming companies to pay an additional €5,000 (£4,500/$5,700) each year to operate in the country, while land-based operators will now pay an extra €1,000.

In addition, the annual fixed fee for each slot machine in Romania will increase from €2,600 to €3,600. These additional payments will be used to fund the ONJN and ensure it can carry out its regulatory functions.

Image: Santeri Viinamäki