The gambling companies earn a lot of money and don’t pay taxes, gambling represents a real social danger and this industry doesn’t help any other field. These are the three main preconceived ideas about the gambling market that those activating in this field wish to change in 2015, says Dan Alexandru Ghiţă, former manager of the Romanian Lottery and current president of ROMBET - The Association of Gaming Organizers.
"When one hears or reads something about the Romanian gambling market, one does not expect a positive article, even though many people admit they don’t know much about this field of work. The expectance is for a rather rich and somewhat fascinating market that you’d like to discover, but you think you can’t.The companies of this field know very well that they are often perceived as part of a grey universe, inspired by gangsters movies, so they aim at changing this false image", as shown in a release sent to our office today.
Dan Ghiţă (manager of the Romanian Lottery in the period July 2012 and March 2013) states that the first preconceived idea is the one that saysthat gambling companies earn “a lot of money” and never pay any kind of taxes on this income.
The forme official explained: "I believe this will be the prejudice we’ll have to fight the most, but we won’t give up. Our association commissioned towards the end of 2014 a European comparative study that has as conclusion the fact that in Romania the gambling industry is one of the most fiscalized economic activities, having one of the highest taxation level of Europe. Beside the fees and taxes due by all economic operators, the gaming organizers also have to pay in advance license fees and exploiting authorisations. Moreover, we have to mention the fact that the gambling industry represents over 0.7% of GDP and generates jobs for almost 40 000 people. We cannot overlook these facts just because it comes in handy to use this prejudice".
The second preconceived idea is, thinks Dan Ghiţă, the one saying that gambling represents a real social danger and the organizers of such games do nothing for changing this situation.
"That is so untrue! According to a study from GfK Romania, most of the people participating in gambling are doing it for fun, socializing and entertainment. But it is true that there are vulnerable persons or that might have gambling issues, but the games organizers are permanently preoccupied with prevention and control of these cases. Currently, authorities and games organizers representatives are discussing about a national program that will address these categories of people. The Romanian Police will even start a national campaign of preventing underage participation in gambling. Rombet will support without any reserve these projects and we will do anything in our power to make them known and implement them as well as possible", he detailed.
"The gambling industry doesn’t help any other field, it gets richer and that’s it, never heard of, nor cares for social problems" says the third preconceived idea the former Lottery manager tries to fight against.
"The world of gambling was never indifferent to social problems and cases, but if they didn’t trumpeted thei implication, that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. Of course, other European countries have clear laws asking that a certain percent of the gambling companies’ income be directed towards these cases. There are talks about this here as well. Beyond respecting the law, we support stories and people who are worthy – we are thinking, for instance, of scholarships for talented students and as far as facts are concerned, we have already done numerous donations for children in need. We care and we are involved, although we are stuck with an unfair label", conclude Mr. Ghiţă, in the release sent to our paper.
On the 8th of March 2013, the Minister of Public Finances of that moment, Daniel Chiţoiu, removed Dan Alexandru Ghiţă from the position of general manager of the Romanian Lottery, with the press claiming that the Ministry had accused him of defective management.
About this subject, the former Lottery chief stated today: "Around noon (on the 8th of March 2013 - n.r.), there was a spontaneous quick meeting of the General Assembly of Stakeholders when hey told they had proposed my removal and the Minister Daniel Chiţoiu had approved. They didn’t mention any reason for taking this decision. I didn’t have anything to manage, since my activity was completely blocked by the board members and the General Assembly of Stakeholders members. I had come, during our meetings, with numerous business projects that could have brought our company significant income. For instance, in 2011, the Lottery had a profit of only 20 mil Eur. I came with business proposal that could have brought the company a profit of over 200 mil Eur in just one year. All my ideas were rejected with no explanations. The proposals were made in the sense of a contractual joint venture with some of the world’s most renowned companies in this field, with no investment from the Lottery. The Company would not be burdened with equipement it had to pay later on; it had the possibility to ask for the latest things in the field and avoid the current situation (to work with old and out-of-date equipment), as well as offer clients the best services ".