Romania Online Casino Guide

Gambling Industry Overview in Romania

The following approaches will be presented

  • Gambling legislation in Romania
  • Gambling authorities in Romania
  • Online casinos in Romania
  • and more

Flag of RomaniaRomania is among the European countries that pay serious attention to the gambling affairs and regard it as a source of stable income but according to people familiar with the matter, Romanian gambling laws had to be reviewed and made compatible with the requirements of the European Commission. It is a well-known fact that some of the laws were outdated as they have not been amended for a long time. At the end of 2014, Romanian gambling authorities paid closer attention to the existing laws and took actions towards ensuring both brick-and-mortar casinos and online gambling activities are thriving.

History of Gambling Regulation in Romania

Unlike some other European countries, casino industry in Romania has long history. The first form of gambling activity dates back to the beginning of the 20th century when the Romanian Lottery – Loteria Romana, was established.

Under Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime, gambling was prohibited on the territory of the country but the ban was lifted in the 1990s, when residents were once again enabled to engage in various forms of gambling.

The year 1991 saw the opening of the first post communist casino venue on the territory of Romania.

Currently, Romanian residents and tourists are legally allowed to participate in a wide variety of gambling options and they are provided with an abundant choice of casino venues which they can visit. Although most casinos are located in the region of Bucharest, there are a few, located throughout the country. Poker fans can also attend the popular poker rooms that are situated in the vicinity of Bucharest. Sports betting has also become a widespread form of gambling within the country.

Overview

Gambling Legislation in RomaniaThe National Gambling Office is in charge of the Romanian gambling matters. Its members work in collaboration with a Supervisory Committee and the latter is responsible for authorizing the operators that want to be available on the Romanian gambling market and for implementing rules and regulations operators need to obey.

Currently, the monopolist on the Romanian gambling market is “Loteria Romana” – S.A – it offers online and offline gambling options. In point of fact, remote gambling has been legal for 5 years but basically, it has never been available due to the fact there was no institution responsible for it. In other words, Romanian online gambling segment has been inactive for quite some time. It was not until December 2014 when Romanian authorities paid closer attention to the issue and to the requirements that permit or prohibit the traditional and remote gambling activities.

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As far as the measures taken towards the development of casino industry in Romania are concerned, local authorities passed a bill considered critical for the future of the casino industry on Romanian soil.

The legislation covers all important aspects, including the requirements operators need to fulfil in order to acquire a gambling license and the prerequisites those that already operate in another European jurisdiction have to meet in order to provide remote gambling activities.

The new rules are intended to ensure the highest level of protection of minors and residents prone to gambling addiction. In addition, gambling taxes and fees operators are to pay in future have also been reconsidered.

Previously, there was a universal tax quota, amounting to 25%, which has been lowered to 1% provided that player’s revenue do not exceed RON 600. As for revenues that exceed €15,000 the income tax quota is 16%. The tax remains the same – 25%, and is applicable to players who generate more than €100,000.
Speaking of operators that provide online gambling activities, they have to pay a fee, depending on their annual revenue. Apart from that, a flat fee, equal to 16% of the GGR also applies.

A black list, including all operators that did not pay the applicable fees, is to be established. The Order of the President of the Gambling Office is responsible for providing listing and de-listing conditions.

As for the remote gambling activities, the technical requirements were also changed, not to mention the requirements under which a remote gambling license can be obtained. One of the most important requirements is the availability of a bank account on the territory of Romania, where players can deposit their funds.

The aim of all the amendments, mentioned above, is not only to protect the underaged part of the population but also to make sure Romanian laws for both – traditional and online casinos, are compatible with the requirements of the European Commission. They have come into force in the middle of March, 2015.

As mentioned above, at the end of 2014, Romanian authorities passed a law expected to take the Romanian casino industry to new heights. The so-called Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO 77/2009) puts emphasis on the outdated gambling laws and those concerning online gambling in particular. Under the pressure of the European Commission, Romanian gambling officials decided to abolish the restrictions they have previously approved.

The new rules are intended for amending the taxes gaming providers pay, the range of payment methods available and last but not least, the taxes players are supposed to pay depending on the type of games they participate in. For the time being, Romania-based players are legally allowed to take part in a wide variety of games, regarded as games of chance, including fixed-odds betting, slot machines, matched betting, etc. and their online equivalents.

Apart from the taxes, the new law amendments aim at establishing stricter measures towards preventing gambling addiction and engagement of underaged citizens in all sorts of gambling activities. In order these goals to be achieved, a special Foundation was established and the top priority of its members is ensuring the measures are compatible with the requirements of the European Committee for Standardisation.

The major change in the Romanian gambling laws was the abolishment of the levy of 25% concerning the winnings, and the adoption of a new system according to which players whose revenue do not exceed €15,000 will pay considerably smaller fees; the levy on players whose revenue goes over €15,000 are supposed to pay 16%. Revenue that exceeds €100,000, will be subject to 25% taxation.

However, the online gambling amendments are considered the most important ones that would enable foreign gambling operators become available on the Romanian gambling market.

According to the legislation, online gambling operators are eligible for obtaining a license in one of the three classes. Each of them has its own specifications and prerequisites that need to be met.

Class 1 license is awarded to operators that provide games of chance in online variant but the presence of contracts with players is obligatory. As for the taxes, every Class 1 license holder is obliged to pay a fee amounting to €6,000 on grounds that the annual turnover does not go beyond €500,000. Needless to say, the licensing fee increases depending on the turnover generated.

Class 2 license is granted to companies that provide both traditional and online gambling options or specialize in providing gambling software, affiliates, testing labs. The annual fee amounts to €6,000.

Class 3 licenses are to be obtained by providers of lottery games such as the aforementioned “Romanian Lottery S.A”.

Apart from the licensing fees, another tax, known as an “annual authorisation fee” applies. Remote gambling providers are to pay this tax that accounts for 16% of their gross gaming revenue.

As for providers of video lottery terminal games and televised bingo, the fee is 2% and 5% of the gross gaming revenue, respectively.

Every license is valid for 10 years, while the previous regulations ensured a 5-year period of validity.

The new legislation clearly states what kind of technical requirements remote gambling operators have to meet.

First of all, the central IT system of the operator, where all information about the participants, the fees and the winning is stored, has to be transmitted and saved in mirror and backup server in Romania and the data should be kept for 5 years.

The specialized software on which the games of chance are run, needs to be approved by the ONJN Monitoring Committee.

Players’ whereabouts must be recorded via special communication equipment and must include the time and duration of the gaming session. The information has to be kept for 5 years.

Every gambling operator needs to ensure the presence of a company representative who needs to reside Romania and be prepared to represent the company when necessary.
As for the other law amendments, they are related predominantly to the fines that are to be applied when a violation is spotted.

Online Gambling

Internet Gambling in RomaniaAs mentioned above, Romania has legalized online gambling activities in 2010 but since then little efforts have been made towards making the sector a flourishing one. People, familiar with the matter attributed the standstill to the fact that Romanian gambling authorities were reluctant to amend the outdated laws and make them compatible with the fast changing online gambling market in Europe and on a global scale.

Back in 2007, Romania became a member of the European Union, which therefore, means the regulations related to online gambling options, can be implemented only after an approval of the European Commission is obtained.

Operators willing to become available on the Romanian gambling scene, have been experiencing a number of setbacks over the years. In practice, remote gambling has been legalized but there was not a regulatory body that had the authority of issuing a license.

The situation was remedied in 2013 when Romanian National Gambling Office was founded and the first attempts for establishing online gambling-related rules and regulations were made.

However, the rules were regarded as too restrictive because regulators also demanded all licensed operators to have a representative that resides Romania. The latter requirement was regarded as a violation of the free market atmosphere the European Commission was striving to establish. Despite the freedom to set their own laws, countries that are members of the European Union also have to comply with the rules set by the European Commission.

Apart from that, the European Commission criticized Romania for the corruption schemes that prevent the further expansion of the online gambling sector. Commission members recommended the restrictive regulations to be abolished and foreign gambling operators to be eligible for entering the Romanian gambling segment.

According to the latest regulations, every website that offers gambling products and services, should contain the name of the provider as well as its address, details about the license it operates under and a statement that minors are prohibited from using the services available.

Warning about the potential threats a player can experience if they engage in gambling activities for a long time as well as contacts where help on gambling addiction issues can be found, should also be displayed.

In addition, the rules of every game along with payment transactions, security and terms and conditions should be available.

The provider needs to ensure assistance and clear rules concerning the essence of the game, the payments and last but not least, free classes where players can master a particular game.

A clock, enabling the player to keep track of the duration of their gambling session is also obligatory element of every website along with a statement about player’s balance. All information should be available in Romanian language and every player who engages in gambling activities more than once in 12 hours, has to be notified via email about the potential risks they are exposed to.

Every player is eligible for setting depositing limits on daily, weekly and monthly basis and the provider takes the responsibility of ensuring the availability of a special application for players’ convenience that enables them to decide whether the proceeds of earnings that go above a particular amount can be returned in the same way the account was initially fed.

Players are granted the right to temporary or permanently deactivate their account for a minimum of 24 hours. In case the player wants the account permanently deactivated, they will not be eligible for creating a new one for 6 months.

When an account is closed due to provider’s will, the player can get the available funds within ten business days.

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