Romania Jurisdiction Overview
The body that governs gambling in Romania is the Oficiului Național pentru Jocuri de Noroc, or National Gambling Office (ONJN).
The laws with regard to gambling did not comply with those of the European Union and were considered significantly out of date. Romanian Parliament reviewed and took appropriate measures to make changes to its previous gambling regulations having approved modifications which effected international gambling operators. This saw its online gambling market open up beyond Romanian borders to operators located within the EU and ensured the success of the Romanian gambling industry.
The history of gambling in Romania began with establishment of the Romanian Lottery, Loteria Romana, which held the monopoly on gambling for quite some time. Gambling was banned; however this ban was lifted in the 1990’s and brick and mortar casinos began to open.
Fast forward to 2014 and we saw operators and providers being allowed to provide online gambling services to residents of Romania.
Updates and modifications to legislation are published in a series of ordinances, which when amended are available for public view on its website; however the documents are only available in Romanian for anyone interested in viewing them.
The Department of Public Relations and International Relations is involved in the structuring of the National Office for Gaming, in terms of public communication and analysis. Players may file complaints directly via email.
Along with the 2015 legislative change to online gambling came the requirement for international operators to obtain licensing from ONJN. There are fees and taxation involved and while many operators withdrew from the market, many have taken the plunge and submitted successful applications. Those that opted to withdraw were likely shocked by the requirement to pay a 20% tax on all online profit earned from Romanian players going as far back as 2009.
Licensing is available for operators offering:
- Casino Games
- Fixed Odds Sports Betting
A series of operators were granted licenses including 888, Amaya, Betfair, Unibet and many more.
In 2015, following licensing regulation, ONJN published its first Lista-neagră, or blacklist, containing hundreds of operators.
This list contains operators that have illegally offered gambling services to Romanian players and the most controversial of them all was bet365. This was one operator that paid the high price associated with back taxes and was awarded a Romanian license only for it to be subsequently revoked and placed on the blacklist. The operator has taken steps to appeal the decision but was unsuccessful in 2016. As a condition of licensing, operators were required to cease Romanian operations between September 11th and October 10th while applications were under review. Bet365 insists that it complied with all requirements yet has failed to win the revocation case in the Bucharest Court of Appeal.
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