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Romania blacklists Bwin.party domains despite €7.9m back-tax payment

TAGs: bwin.party, Fortuna Entertainment Group, netbet, romania

romania-bwin-party-blacklistUK-listed online gambling operator Bwin.party digital entertainment has been blacklisted in Romania despite having recently paid €7.9m in back taxes.

Romania’s gambling regulator Oficiul National pentru Jocuri de Noroc (ONJN) recently updated its list of unauthorized gambling operators that have failed to comply with its licensing demands. The list, which has grown from its original 48 names to over 120, features several Bwin.party domains, including Bwin.com, PartyPoker.com and PartyCasino.com.

Bwin.party’s inclusion is puzzling, given that the company announced in August that it had acceded to the country’s demands to ante up back taxes worth 20% of all online revenue generated from Romanian punters since 2009. Bwin.party’s name has also yet to appear on the ONJN’s list of officially approved online operators, which includes the likes of 888, Bet365, Betfair, Fprtuna, PokerStars, Stanleybet, Unibet and others.

iGaming Business reported that the ONJN decided to spank Bwin.party because the company had chosen to continue operating in the country while its license application was pending, rather than temporarily freeze its dealings with Romanian punters until the company received the official nod to proceed. Bwin.party must now convince the ONJN that its decision to issue a provisional license to the company wasn’t a mistake.

In other local news, Czech betting operator Fortuna Entertainment Group has announced it had signed a brand licensing agreement with Romanian sports betting and gaming companies Bet Active Concept and Bet Zone. The two companies – both part of the Penta Investments Group, which holds a majority stake in Fortuna – will have the right to utilize the Fortuna trademark for the purposes of sports betting and gaming in Romania.

Finally, Romanian-licensed online operator NetBet has struck a marketing partnership with Romanian footballers FC Steaua Bucuresti. NetBet CMO Alexandre Mangaud said the deal, which covers the current Liga 1 season, will see NetBet offer Steaua fans exclusive bonuses, promotions and invitations to major events. Steaua joins NetBet’s other football partnerships, which include English Premier Leaguers West Bromwich Albion, French sides Gezelec Ajaccio and Saint-Etienne, plus Germany’s VFL Gummersbach.

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