Romanian Bookmakers Strike Over Gambling TaxPublished June 27, 2010 by OCR Editor
Strike takes place on same day as beginning of FIFA World Cup.
Almost all of the more than 1,500 land-based Romanian bookmakers closed on June 11 - the first day of the 2010 FIFA World Cup - to protest new legislation that would put a 25 percent tax on all gambling profits.
The country's Alliance of Employers union said the protest was aimed at drawing the government's attention to the threat of unemployment and illegal betting posed by the new tax.
Romania, which has legalized land-based gambling but has not yet addressed the issue of online gambling in Romania, is home to 1,505 registered bookmakers. Of those, some 1,455 - or more than 96 percent of all registered bookmakers - have joined the strike against the new draft law.
Gambling profits were taxed prior to the introduction of the new legislation but to a lesser extent, with the government making around $1.25 million each month from the taxes.
According to a union study conducted in Romania, a similar measure undertaken back in 2005 led to a reduction of almost 50 percent in average bookmaker earnings and a reduction of around 30 percent in the number of bookmakers.