The Romanian lottery was the first form of legalized gambling in the country, but it was outlawed when the area was annexed by the Soviet Union in the middle to late 20th century. As part of its application to join the European Union, Romania worked hard to legalize virtually all types of gambling. Learn about the regulations of gaming in Romania by reading on.
Casino Games and Their Regulatory Status
Romania’s eagerness to join the European Union has resulted in the legalization of virtually all forms of gaming. Despite a brief period of ban in the mid-20th century when Romania was a member of the Soviet Union, offline gambling has been permitted in Romania since 1906.
Online gambling got off to a sluggish start, but the government took attempts to officially legislate for the activity in order to become an active member of the EU. However, the country’s regulating authority, the National Gambling Office, wasn’t established until 2013.
Even then, the EU had concerns, especially with the mandate that licensees have physical facilities in the country (including offices and servers) and pay tax rates that are, at best, dubious.
Nevertheless, Romanians can access internet gambling through one of the 25 or so legitimate firms who have the necessary licenses. Meanwhile, measures are taken to prevent the about 1,300 unlicensed web providers in Romania from accessing the Romanian people.
Let’s break down the many kinds of gambling and see which ones are allowed by law.
Although land-based casinos have been legal in Romania since 1991, the country only has 5. This makes Romania the least casino-friendly country in Europe.
These casinos attract many people from the middle class and above, while slot parlors and halls primarily serve the poor, who are more vulnerable to becoming addicted to gambling due to their limited financial resources.
Since 2013, when the National Gambling Office was established, players in the country have been able to legally access online casinos through one of the Class 2 licence holder sites. The Romanian government actively prevents unlicensed businesses from operating and bars them from ever obtaining a license.
Although it is technically possible to fine players who access online gambling sites, in fact doing so is extremely challenging. Playing slots, table games, and live dealer games at the many foreign sites that welcome players from Romania is therefore typically a breeze for Romanians.
Poker Poker is another kind of gambling that is legal in Romania. There are a small number of poker rooms in the country’s larger towns, but most brick-and-mortar casinos offer poker. The Romanian Poker Championship and PokerFest are two of the most well-known poker tournaments in the country.
As a result of the proliferation of legally sanctioned online poker sites, the game of online poker is also hugely popular in Romania.
Bingo is another form of gambling that is allowed in Romania and particularly well-liked by the country’s retirees; the country is home to a plethora of bingo halls, and some casinos even host their own bingo games.
In contrast, there appears to be little market for online bingo in Romania, hence the industry is virtually nonexistent there. Although there are games that are comparable to bingo, the national lottery does not offer bingo.
Although the Romanian government does its best to block international online bingo companies from accepting Romanian customers, there are still a few options for people who are interested in online bingo gambling.
Loteria Romana has a monopoly in Romania due to being the only offline lottery provider there. Although the operator does have a website, online lottery ticket purchases were not possible until very recently. But in 2020, the government declared its intention to digitize the lottery, opening the door for online ticket sales.
The end effect is that the Loteria Romana’s monopoly has been extended into the digital sphere. Nonetheless, many Romanians can access online lotto games for real money at the many offshore lottery casino sites that are not restricted in Romania.
Social gaming Games that feature loot boxes and are on the edge of being classified as gambling are not explicitly prohibited by Romanian legislation and are therefore legal.
Legalized Sports Betting in Romania
In Romania, you can legally wager on sports both in-person and online. Unlike in many other countries, sports betting establishments in Romania are not affiliated with the state-run lottery.
In addition, a handful of international online sportsbooks have been granted legal operating status in Romania. Unauthorized gambling sites are blocked by ISPs in the country, and users are cautioned that they risk legal action if they gamble on an unlicensed site.
Maximum Gambling Age Set at 21
Anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed in casinos or to participate in any type of gambling, both in-person and online.
There are a number of charges that gaming businesses must meet under Romania’s tax control rules. Land-based casinos and slot parlors pay a tax on revenue per customer, while online casinos and sportsbooks pay a tax of 16% of gross winnings. In a positive development, gaming in Romania is exempt from value-added tax.
Players pay a 1 percent tax on gambling gains up to €13,500, 16 percent on profits between €13,500 and €90,000, and 25 percent on winnings exceeding €90,000.
Romanian Gambling Laws and Their Background
Although the Loteria Romana was the first type of gambling to be legalized in Romania in 1906, the rest of the century was a turbulent one for the industry there. Gambling was outlawed in Romania between the years of 1948 and 1989, while the country was under communist administration after joining the Soviet Union.
In an effort to lure visitors from the European Union and raise much-needed funds, the government of the country began investing heavily in the gaming business as early as 2003. The European Union admitted Romania as a full member in 2007.
Government Emergency Ordinance No. 77/2009 on the Organization and Operation of gaming Activities was enacted in 2009 and is the legal framework under which gaming is conducted in the country.
While gambling is now legal in the country, it can only be done so with a license from a regulatory organization that does not yet exist, which is a problem with the new law. A new regulatory organization, the National Gambling Office, with the authority to grant licenses, was established after the law was updated and modernized in 2013.
Loteria Romana, Romania’s official lottery operator, began allowing online ticket purchases in 2020.
Gambling is generally accepted within Romanian law. When compared to other countries, this one has rather liberal gaming legislation. Only gambling that takes place in unregistered establishments or on unregulated online sites is illegal in the country. Romania’s government has blocked a number of international service provider IP addresses in an effort to thwart unregistered online service providers.
Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, poker, bingo, the lottery, and sports betting are all permitted in Romania.