The National Gambling Office Has Been Created

8 April 2013 – By Jane Spiegel

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Romania is one of the largest markets in the European Union and online casino operators have noticed that internet gambling is very popular among punters in this country. The first law regarding gambling in Romania dates back to 1998. After eleven years, in 2009, Romania managed to replace the former legislation with the publication of Government Emergency Ordinance No. 77/2009. The law qualified the activity of organizing gambling activities through the internet or other communication systems as landline or mobile telephony, as a criminal offence. Also, the 2009 law did not include details concerning the organization of online gambling. One year later, the restrictions were removed and the government voiced its intention to adapt a framework that reflected the online casino market reality in Romania.

The Law No. 246/2010 legalized and regulated the following categories of online gambling activities: fixed-odds betting which also include sports and other verticals, online gambling products like casino, poker and skill games and also bingo games.

Recently, the Romanian government has announced that they appointed the National Gambling Office (NGO) to oversee nationally licensed online gambling operations in this country. The gambling regulator will regulate and enforce the tough laws in cooperation with national police. Romanian punters that gamble online at any unlicensed websites can face punitive measures that can include a 2 year stretch in jail. Unlicensed online casino operators that offer internet gambling to Romanians can receive hefty punishments. Also, the law imposes restrictions on advertising and marketing of the pastime. The NGO starts exercising its mandate and authority from April 15, 2013.

The European Commission has noticed the discriminatory nature of Romania’s internet gambling law. According to the online casino gambling law in Romania, licenses are reserved for entities that have a registered company presence in Romania. Besides that, online casino operators must be partners or shareholders in existing land casino operations. Despite all these facts, the legislation has been implemented and will now be enforced. Online casino operators must meet the demands if they want to enter the Romanian gambling market, which is one of the most important in the European Union.

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