Casinos, online and offline poker, in casinos or at tournaments, tricks, sports betting and, last but not least, the lottery last year accounted for a cumulative business that exceeds, according to Business Magazin calculations based on market estimates, 1.3 billion without taking into account the black market, which is supposed to tend to one billion. Sites like idn poker are also hitting it big.
Once a luxurious industry, with a lot of money and temptations for enthusiasts, but especially addicts, at every step, gambling has been hit, along with the economic crisis, by the poverty of Romanians and by increasing and higher taxes, reaching now halfway to the peak. What does the x-ray of one of the most lucrative and at the same time disputed businesses in Romania look like?
The Decline Of The Gambling Industry
Gone are the days when Bucharest was also called little Las Vegas. The field of gambling, which includes casinos, poker, electronic devices, sports betting, and the state lottery and which last year meant business of over 1.3 billion euros, has declined in recent years not only in the Capital but especially in the province. And the chances of returning to the heyday are also diminishing when they see with their own eyes.
The little money in people’s wallets, the ambiguous and oppressive legislation, but also the black market estimated at about one billion euros have led not only to the reduction of casinos but also to the bankruptcy of many competitors in the area of electronic games while declining revenues and profits. The extravagance and luxury of a booming industry, which seemed to be untouchable, has faded in recent years. There are now 456 gambling organizers of all kinds, including 422 slot machines, 16 bookmakers, 7 casinos, and 14 bingo halls, according to official data, most grouped in a number of associations. (two for casinos, two for gaming operators and one for bettors).
Gambling Is Still Seen As A Milking Cow
Even so, gambling is still seen as a milking cow, according to Cristian Pascu, the executive president of the Romanian Association of Gambling Organizers and Producers. This is because at the moment, only 3-4% of the country’s population plays some kind of gambling, while in other countries the share is higher, according to Sorin Constantinescu, president of the Romanian Casino Association, but also because the state it still raises good money from the state budget from this industry and the amounts have every chance to increase – only gambling fees and taxes are about 160 million euros, plus state contributions for the few tens of thousands of employees, of which 30,000 in the field of slots alone, according to Dan Iliovici, executive manager of Romslot. However, the economic impact of the gambling industry is even greater – “the business multiplies horizontally at least a few times by renting for gambling spaces, utilities, taxes and contributions or car parks,” says Iliovici.