ECONOMY

Romania launches criminal probe into state lottery, Greek firm

BUCHAREST – Romania is investigating the country’s national lottery and a Greek-controlled firm over illegal slot-machine gambling that prosecutors say has cost the state budget more than 100 million euros ($108 million).

Loteria Romana CNLR carried out gambling activities without license and authorisation by using 6,263 slot-machines partly supplied by Lotrom SA – a subsidiary of Greek firm Intralot SA – between 2006 and 2014, Bucharest’s prosecuting office of the Court of Appeals said on Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the activities had cost the state budget 463.4 million lei ($114.5 million), without giving further details.

A prosecutor at the court told Reuters no other names of persons who are subject to the ongoing criminal inquiry can be made public at this stage and that the bank accounts of the two companies had been blocked.

“The 463.4 million lei sum representing losses to the state budget is just a preliminary one,” the official said.

Contacted by Reuters, Lotrom’s office in Bucharest said it had yet to make any comment. CNLR said in an e-mailed statement that its accounts had not been blocked and that “further information cannot be unveiled given the fact that an investigation is underway.”

[Reuters]