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Romania Taxing Slot Operators

In a bid to add more cash to the state budget, Romanian officials have been making plans to increase taxes for the gambling industry there, particularly targeting land based operators and even players. The problem which they have come across is the fact that it is very hard to properly check who is winning at slot games and how much they have taken, which means that taxation is difficult; in order to get around this, they are introducing new taxes in different areas, which will allow them to be sure that they are getting tax revenue whenever players sit down at slots in land based casinos in the country.

The first measure which they are introducing is to more than double the entry tax for casinos, which may be a little off-putting for some. The original price was RON 20 or around 4.40 Euros; it will now be changed to RON 50, or around eleven Euros. This tax hike is accompanied by another bill which must be picked up by slot machine operators: gambling companies are now going to be asked to pay an extra two hundred Euros per year in tax for every single slot machine which they operate. The operators have agreed that it is impossible for the companies or the tax administration to highlight how much gamblers have actually won and then impose taxes on them, so even though they are going to have to pay more they have been said to welcome the change. This will make things much more simple when it comes to making sure that the correct taxes have been paid, and will also take the pressure off the players a little in order to allow them to play without having to think about tax or to decide how much they should declare to the tax administration.

Up until now, the state budget only included taxes from bingo, sports bets, and lottery earnings, which means that this will represent a significant addition to their revenue. Aside from slot machine games, they will also be adding more taxes on video poker, online gambling wins, casino and poker clubs, and more, so getting the tax from the operators themselves is a much easier way to do it than to try and chase after the actual players. Last year, the state managed to see around 7.5 million Euros in tax revenue just from the gambling industry, but this year the figure will surely be higher: there are around sixty eight thousand slot machines throughout Romania, so this represents an increase on operator taxes of millions of Euros at the very least. The Romanian media have estimated that the industry in the country is worth around one billion Euros a year, and it may well increase even further when the twenty five per cent income tax on winnings is dropped from the existing regulations. This tax has never really been considered to be successful, according to the head of the National Office for Gambling.

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