The Romanian National Lottery accounts were blocked by prosecutors, because of evidence of revenue generated from gambling without a license. The estimated damage is more than 100 million Euros, but there are reasons to believe that other 130 million would be also illegal proceeds.
The criminal investigation involves other three private companies as well, Greek: LOTROM, Intracom and Intralot. Prosecutors have calculated provisionally the current damage of over 100 million, is due to the fact that the Romanian National Lottery has generated its incomes from their slot machines without a license.
In addition, secondary investigators will recover 130 million from the Lottery and the three private companies for illegal income earned after 2009, when an emergency ordinance changed the rules on the Romanian gaming market.
The prosecutors stated that: “Even after the entry into force of this regulation, the Lottery hasn’t made its obligation to request authorization for each slot machine, which comes at the price of 8,000 euro / year and hasn’t even applied for a gambling license(25,000 lei / year)”.
The investigation was started by the antifraud authority in 2010 and has been taken over this year by prosecutors at the Court of Appeal in Bucharest. The “gambling” deal was based on a secret agreement which was signed in 2003, and was completed ten years later in 2013. However, by 2014, the prosecutors have calculated the unlawful proceeds of over 130 million. In order to recover the laundering, prosecutors have requested the blocking the accounts of all companies involved, but also have taken other protective measures as well.
The leading national company on the Romanian market has over 1,109 offices in which these slot machines can be found. The state company owns 150 units only in Bucharest.
Here is the BUSINESS PLAN. The Romanian Lottery purchased 6.263 devices from LOTROM, the contract was financed by the other two companies in the Greek group. The money would have been returned from generated incomes. But, according to the trade agreement concluded, the devices were recorded for another game – “video lottery” – which is taxed differently. In fact, the problems are even more ancient. Since 2006, the Lottery would have had to pay special taxes for the slot machines. Prosecutors are accusing the Lottery to work under undisclosed terms since the Lottery has in reality has done business with other gambling units than those for which it was licensed. The additional revenue would come from these incomes and are the key cause of prejudice against the state budget.
This investigation has be conducted by RISE PROJECT.
Who are the benefitors of this deal? LOTROM is a company which was founded in 2000 by two companies connected to a Greek billionaire, Sokratis Kokkalis. The second beneficiary was George Copos, who engaged in the business with his offshore companies. George Copos was released this Tuesday from prison after being convicted last year for another criminal business with Romanian Lottery.
Kokkalis, 75, is one of the richest men in the world, with a fortune estimated at 1.6 billion euros. He was the main shareholder of the football team Olympiakos Piraeus and multinational Intralot – holding the majority of stocks at LOTROM he is also active over a hundred companies involved in gaming worldwide. A Greek journalist investigation showed that the billionaire is an ex-Stasi agent – the former East German secret police. Kokkalis was personally involved in the affairs of its subsidiaries in Bucharest.
Switel LOTROM Corporation entered the deal in 2001, the company based in Lichtenstein connected to George Copos as well. The Lichtenstein company is registered a “Ana Group” brand, owned by Copos. The company appears in the indictment in “Transfers” criminal records, in which George Copos was convicted last year, along with other important names in the Romanian football. The bank statements reviewed by prosecutors show that the former owner of Rapid Bucharest football club has made a transfer from his personal account towards a brokerage firm based in Lichtenstein. The money traveled further and lead to the acquisition of shares in Switel Corporation. This company has owned five percent of LOTROM until 2008, when it has succumbed it’s shares to and offshore company based in Cyprus which owns several businesses controlled by George Copos.
The Lottery Contract between the stated owned company and the private companies involved in the case was initialed by director Nicholas Cristea, convicted in the “Lottery” case together with Copos.
You can the official list of licensed operators on the Romania gambling market bellow:
Casino Technology announces Valentina Dobre as new Regional Director for Romania
Gaming equipment manufacturer Casino Technology has announced a new appointment for Romania to further strengthen the company’s management.
Following its steady plan for continuous market growth, the company named Valentina Dobre as Regional Director for Romania as of 1st of August 2017.
The company claims with Mrs Dobre’s profound expertise, professional background and in-depth knowledge of the gaming industry in the country, she became part of Casino Technology team, ready to implement the overall corporate strategy.
Valentina Dobre commented: “I am honored to accept this position and be part of the high level management team of Casino Technology. I will pursue actively further company positioning and growth on the Romanian market. Casino Technology has been on the country’s market for over 10 years and proved to be leader, having maintained trusted partnerships with local operators and customers.”
Casino Technology stated that Mrs Dobre’s background as Member of the Board of Directors at Romslot Association, Bucharest will additionally increase the Casino Technology market share.
“Valentina Dobre is an important appointment as she brings extensive knowledge of the market, that will help us boost even more our presence in Romania. She will have a crucial role in our further expansion, launching successfully our new line products on the market”, concluded Milo Borissov, Founder, President and CEO of Casino Technology.
Two major announcements from BEGE Expo and EEGS: Mark your calendars
The Balkan Entertainment & Gaming Expo (BEGE Expo) and the Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGS) celebrate their 10th anniversary this year. Due to the big interest for both events the organizers made two major announcements – BEGE will outspread in one more hall and EEGS will start one day earlier than the announced date.
Over 50 leading companies from the industry have already confirmed their presence for BEGE Expo 2017. Well-known leading manufacturers, amongst them being Novomatic, Casino Technology, EGT, Suzohapp, BetConstruct, Interblock, Merkur Gaming, APEX, Alfastreet Trade, Nsoft, JPL and CPI, as well as new participants, such as the leading sports betting company Bet3000 (IBA-Entertainment Ltd.), EXEFEED, Quixant, Zitro, Change Italia s.r.l., Gamebridge Casino Equipment, JCM Europe GmbH, nano Vo sp. Z o.o., Berkotech Kft. and others will exhibit their latest solutions at this year’s BEGE. The great interest for the event forced the opening of new hall, thus making the 10th edition of BEGE Expo the biggest so far.
The registration is already open so you wouldn’t want to miss the chance to register.
Another newness that BEGE Expo 2017 will present is the special Affiliate zone. Following the expansion of the online business in the region, this year the exhibiton will create space for online operators and affiliates from the region to interact and create business partnerships. Affiliate program providers will be able to book their own space in the zone and all affiliates will be admitted for free.
EEGS also promises to reach new heights this year. Reschedule your calendars, because EEGS 2017 will start on 20th of November – one day earlier than intended. This year’s EEGS will continue to follow its main aim – to present the most recent updates from the region, including the countries Serbia, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Slovenia, Montenegro, F.Y.R of Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Turkey and Croatia.
Separate sessions will be dedicated to Sport Challenges, Impact on gaming operators by Anti-Money Laundering Act, GDPR and online gaming. Day 3 will be focused on Tourism & Gaming, Responsible Gaming Academy and marketing topics.
BEGE Expo and EEGS have gradually established as a center for the gaming and entertainment industry in Eastern Europe and for 10th year in a row will be the place where professionals from the field come in order to expand their business, exchange knowledge and promote new products. For any updates you may follow the official websites of the events: eegamingsummit.com and balkangamingexpo.com
Habanero signs an outstanding deal with BBIN
Under the agreement, the supplier will give the software company access to its complete product portfolio of HTML5 games for all of its white label sites.
Recent releases from Habanero, including Fire Rooster, Bird of Thunder, and Panda Panda, have also been made available to the aggregator.
Daniel Long, Head of Sales at Habanero, said the deal was a game-changer for the supplier and one of the company’s most important to date.
He added: “By partnering with BBIN, we have significantly expanded our presence around the world, which means even more players will be able to enjoy our games.
“Many of them will be a natural fit with BBIN’s customers, but it is the diversity and variety of content that will appeal the most.”
Habanero operates a stable of 75 video slots titles, 9 table games, and 50 video poker titles, which are integrated into over 45 operators and aggregators and available in 21 European and Asian languages.
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