Raffle gambling is a category of gambling expressly provided in GEO No. 77/2009 and the Methodological Norms for the implementation of the ordinance.
According to art. 10 para. 1 lit. n, the raffle has the subsequent characteristics:
- Represents an activity of extracting numbers, letters, or other symbols, no matter of the characteristics of mechanical, electronic, digital, or video devices, used for their generation or for performing extractions (cups, urns, wheels, and other such means);
- It can be played as a traditional gamble or as a remote gamble (online);
- It can be organized, or not, within the physical presence of the players;
- Prizes within the raffle can solely be awarded in kind, being fixed, and do not depend upon the number and price of tickets sold, coupons, tokens, and other means of participation in the raffle;
- The value of the prizes cannot be less than 50% of the total value of the stakes paid for the participation in the raffle;
- The number of winners is set beforehand, and they are selected by random draw;
- The raffle is organized according to a regulation previously posted (on location or on the website) and approved by the Supervisory Committee of the O.N.J.N.
In the methodological norms, there is a part specially dedicated to the raffle – a traditional game. Thus, in art. 108 is defined tombola – a traditional game, and in art. 109-110 establishes a series of specific conditions for the organization of traditional games with raffles.
First of all, the economic operators who will organize a raffle – a traditional game, should hold the raffle participation tickets printed only by the National Company “Imprimeria Naționala” – S.A.
Secondly, a 5-member committee should be set up to manage and validate each raffle. Once validated, the committee will draw up minutes for each edition of the game, and these are sent to the ONJN, within 3 working days, together with the record of the participation tickets managed by the organizer with the highlight of the participation tickets sold for that game of chance. The organizers should draw up a monthly statement for the raffle game (included in the monthly income statement).
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License and authorization for the organization of raffle gambling
In order to be ready to perform the raffle-type of gambling, economic operators must have a gambling license and an operating permit issued by the ONJN.
It should be noted that in the case of remote raffle time games (online), the organization license is not specific to the product, unlike the authorization which is specific and must be obtained for every individual gambling activity that is intended to be carried out. Therefore, for the organization and operation of the raffle – remote play, if an operator holds a class I license for the organization of remote gambling (online), it will be necessary to obtain only the authorization to operate the raffle – remote game, otherwise having to obtain both a license and a specific authorization. On the other hand, in the case of a raffle – a traditional game, economic operators, whether or not they hold a license (class I) to organize and an operating license for another category of games of chance, must obtain both a license to organize a raffle and specific authorization for the operation of the raffle – traditional game.
License to organize raffle games
In order to obtain a raffle, traditional gambling, or remote gambling license, an economic operator must prove:
- the existence of gambling as the main object of activity;
- the existence of the opinion of the police bodies granted to the legal representatives, as well as to the associates/shareholders of the legal person;
- the establishment of the subscribed and paid-in share capital and the guarantee fund in the provided amount,
- a clean criminal and/or fiscal record,
- the existence of the centralized computer system and the proof of the right of ownership or use over the intellectual property rights used.
In addition, just for remote gambling, economic operators have to prove the cumulative fulfillment of:
- the existence of a bank account for depositing players’ funds opened with a Romanian bank;
- certification of the entire computer system used;
- the location of the firewall and the mirror on the national territory. As I mentioned, operators who already have a class I license for the organization of remote gambling will no longer go through this procedure.
There is no minimum limit on the subscribed and paid-in share capital for the licensing of raffle games.
The fee for the license to organize raffle gambling is 5,000 euros. For raffle – as remote gambling, the amount of the fee is calculated according to the turnover obtained by the organizer in the previous fiscal year and can vary between 6,000 and 120,000 euros.
Authorization to operate raffle gambling
For the authorization of the raffle – as remote gambling, the provisions for the general authorization of remote gambling will apply. However, in principle, the authorization of both types of raffle involves the possession, preparation, and submission of similar documents, the differences being more determined by the specific differences between traditional and remote gambling.
First of all, for the authorization of the raffle – traditional gambling, the rules of the game applicable to the raffle must be established and submitted for the approval of the ONJN Supervisory Committee. It must include:
- provisions on how to carry out the activity;
- the percentage granted for earnings from the total turnover of receipts;
- the nature and total value of the winnings granted (which cannot be less than 50% of the total value of the stakes paid for participation in the raffle);
- the minimum number of participants in each edition of the game;
- the period provided for the purchase of tickets for participation in the game;
- the date of extraction and the location where it is carried out.
In order to get the authorization for the raffle – as traditional gambling, a detailed description of the activity must be submitted, including a sketch of the gaming spaces, with the location of the basic and auxiliary gambling equipment. Additionally, the economic operator must provide proof of ownership or use of the gaming space and proof that the space in which the raffle will take place is registered as a working point at the competent Trade Register Office.
With respect to the means of play used for the organization of the raffle, operators must ensure that the means of play are technically checked by an assessment body licensed with a Class II license and prove the legal origin of the basic and auxiliary means of play.
Specifically for the raffle – as a traditional game, the operators should develop a collection of rules on the organization and conduct of the raffle, which will be contained in an internal regulation. This regulation is structured in two sections: the general part, in which the mandatory provisions according to the labor legislation will be mentioned, and the special part, in which will be specified in detail: the tasks and attributions of the employees, the financial-accounting system, the way of ensuring document security, values and more.
With regard to the authorization of raffle – as a remote play, operators must legally have the right to use the software. With regard to the means of play, it is necessary to prove the right of ownership or use over the means of play and over the technical equipment that provides support for the organization, operation, and transmission of games of chance. This technical equipment must be audited and the game schedule, theoretical reward percentage (RTP), and random number generator (RNG) must be certified by a class II licensed body by ONJN.
Specifically for the authorization of the raffle – remote gambling, the operator must regulate the conditions regarding the use of the gaming platform (terms and conditions).
In the case of both types of raffle games, in order to obtain the authorization, a guarantee fund must be set up to cover the risk of non-payment of obligations to the general consolidated budget and to certify, by an affidavit, that the space in which to be exploited the means of play, in the case of the raffle – traditional game, respectively in the case of the raffle – remote game, in case they have the technical equipment on the Romanian territory, that the space/spaces in which the technical equipment to be installed and used support for the organization, operation, and transmission of gambling, corresponds/corresponds from a sanitary point of view and complies with the rules of the P.S.I.
In order to determine the level of the guarantee to cover the risk of non-payment, the level of the guarantee fund provided by law for bingo games will be applied, respectively 5,000 euros, as the regime applicable to raffle games has the most similarities with the regime applicable to bingo games.
It should not be overlooked that the operator must own the goods awarded as prizes and they should be awarded to the winners free of any encumbrances.
Regarding the costs of obtaining the authorization, for the raffle – as a traditional game, the fee for obtaining the authorization is worth 16% of the revenues from gambling, made at the level of the organizer. For the raffle – remote play, the authorization fee is worth 16% of the gambling income, made at the level of the organizer, but not less than 100,000 euros, with the same specification as in the case of the license fee, namely that the fee The authorization fee will only be paid by operators who do not hold a remote gambling license at the time the raffle authorization is sought.
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