As Romania’s economy continues to thrive, the iGaming industry in the country has captured the attention of online casino and sportsbook operators. Located in the northeastern part of Europe’s Balkan Peninsula, Romania boasts a GDP that ranks 13th among EU member states, albeit with a GDP per capita slightly below the European average. However, it is the burgeoning gambling market in Romania that has made it a hotspot for iGaming opportunities, drawing significant interest from online gaming operators.
The Romanian gambling market
Romania has become a popular choice for iGaming operators due to two main reasons.
Firstly, it boasts a fully regulated market with established rules and licensing requirements. This stability creates a favorable legal environment where online casinos and sportsbooks can flourish, as operators have a clear understanding of the expectations set by the authorities.
Secondly, Romania is one of the most active gambling markets in Eastern Europe. With a population of approximately 20 million people, of which 88% have internet access, the country generates a total gross gambling revenue (GGR) of around €900 million annually. Additionally, the culture around gambling in Romania is generally accepting, with it being viewed as a socially acceptable pastime rather than a taboo. This positive perception of gambling further contributes to the growing popularity of Romania as a destination for iGaming operators.
Overall, the combination of a regulated market with clear rules, a sizable population with internet access, and a favorable cultural attitude towards gambling make Romania an attractive choice for iGaming operators looking to establish their presence in Eastern Europe.
A Comprehensive Look at Romania’s Gambling Sector and Legal Framework
Romania’s gambling industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, with the country establishing a well-regulated and thriving market. The legislative landscape in Romania has undergone substantial changes to accommodate the evolving gambling industry, providing a clear framework for operators and players alike.
Online gambling has gained popularity in Romania, with a range of options available, including online casinos, sportsbooks, and other forms of online betting. To operate legally in Romania, online gambling operators must obtain a license from the National Gambling Office (Oficiul Național pentru Jocuri de Noroc, or ONJN), the country’s regulatory authority for gambling.
ONJN was established on March 27, 2013, and was granted the authority to issue licenses to online operators right away.
Initially, the licensing requirements mandated that operators must be based in Romania to obtain a license for online operations. However, the criteria were revised after a year, allowing international online companies to obtain a local online license without needing a land-based gambling license.
A wide range of gambling activities are regulated in Romania, including land-based casinos, slot machines, poker, roulette, bingo, blackjack, sports betting, and totalizers, as well as their online counterparts.
The licensing process in Romania is stringent, with operators required to meet strict criteria, including financial stability, technical capabilities, and adherence to responsible gambling practices. License holders are subject to ongoing monitoring and audits to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements.
In terms of taxation, the Romanian gambling industry has a progressive tax system based on the gross gambling revenue (GGR). Operators are required to pay a percentage of their GGR as taxes, with rates varying depending on the type of gambling activity.
Romania also has specific regulations in place to protect players, including age restrictions, self-exclusion programs, and measures to prevent gambling-related harm. Operators are required to implement responsible gambling measures and provide resources for players to seek help for gambling addiction.
While gambling advertisements are permitted, there are restrictions in place. They cannot be placed near schools, educational institutions, cultural or religious sites, and must include information stating that underage gambling is prohibited.
The Romanian gambling industry is constantly evolving, with new developments and updates to the legislative landscape. It is crucial for operators and players to stay informed and compliant with the latest regulations to ensure a safe and responsible gambling environment in Romania. Seeking professional legal advice and partnering with reputable gaming service providers can help navigate the complex regulatory landscape and ensure compliance with the relevant laws and regulations in Romania’s gambling industry.
Romanian License Types
The ONJN offers three types of licenses for gambling operators in Romania.
- First-class license: This license is required for B2C (business-to-consumer) operators who wish to offer gambling services in the Romanian market. It allows licensees to provide either land-based or online gambling services.
- Second-class license: This license is held by B2B (business-to-business) providers, who can offer their products and solutions to licensed operators in Romania.
- Third-class license: This license is exclusively held by the National Romanian Lottery, which has a legal monopoly on organizing all types of lotteries in the country.
These three classes of licenses regulate different aspects of the gambling industry in Romania, covering both B2C and B2B operations, as well as lotteries, to ensure compliance with the country’s gambling regulations.
Gambling License fees
The fees for obtaining and maintaining licenses from the ONJN in Romania vary depending on the type of license.
For First-class license holders:
- An annual fee of €15,600 is applicable for operators with a turnover of less than €500,000.
- Operators with a turnover of more than €500,000 are required to pay an additional fee of up to €312,000 for a turnover exceeding €10 million.
For Second-class license holders:
- A processing fee of €9,500 is applicable.
- In addition to the processing fee, there is also a one-time payment of €9,500 for the license itself.
It’s important to note that these fees are subject to change and operators should verify the latest fee structure with the ONJN to ensure compliance with the current regulations.
In Romania, the gambling industry is subject to various taxes and fees, including:
- Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) tax: This tax is set at 23% and is levied on revenues of at least €120,000 per year. It is calculated based on the total amount of money received from bets minus the winnings paid out to players.
- Monthly tax on participation fees: Implemented on January 1, 2019, this tax requires operators to pay a monthly fee of 2% on the total monthly participation fees collected from players. This tax is calculated based on the total amount of participation fees received from players during a given month.
- Player winnings tax: Winnings obtained by players exceeding the amount of €15,000 are subject to a tax of 1%. This tax is levied on the amount of winnings above €15,000 and is paid by the players themselves.
It’s important for gambling operators and players in Romania to be aware of these taxes and fees, as they are regulated by the ONJN and failure to comply with the tax requirements may result in penalties or other legal consequences.
Criteria for Acquiring a License to Operate a Gambling Business in Romania
Applicants for a gambling license in Romania are required to meet certain requirements, which are similar to those in many other licensing jurisdictions. These requirements include:
- Residency: Applicants must establish residency in Romania, the European Union, or the European Economic Area. International companies must also appoint a local authorized representative based in Romania to interact with relevant authorities and sign contracts on behalf of the company.
- Bank account: Operators must open an account in a Romanian bank where players’ funds will be deposited. Licensed online operators are only permitted to make payments to players through ONJN-approved payment systems.
- Minimum registered capital: The minimum registered capital requirements vary depending on the type of games offered by the company.
- Monthly declarations: Licensed companies are required to submit monthly declarations of their profits to the ONJN.
- Protection of minors: Operators must adhere to regulations related to the protection of minors, ensuring that underage individuals are not allowed to gamble.
- Advertising guidelines: Companies must comply with guidelines for the content and placement of gambling advertisements, including restrictions on advertising near schools, educational institutions, or cultural or religious places, and must include information that gambling is prohibited for underage individuals.
It’s essential for operators to carefully review and comply with these requirements to obtain and maintain a gambling license in Romania and operate in accordance with the local regulations.
Safeguarding Against Gambling-Related Harm in Romania
To protect against problem gambling, there are several requirements in place for online gambling operators in Romania. These requirements include:
- Visible clock and balance tracking: Each gambling site must have a visible clock that tracks the duration of the game session, as well as the user’s balance, to provide players with awareness of their gambling activity and financial situation.
- Information in Romanian: All information, including terms and conditions, must be provided in Romanian to ensure that players have clear and accessible understanding of the gambling services being offered.
- Email warnings: If a player logs in more than once every 12 hours, they should receive an email warning about the potential risks of harmful gambling behavior, promoting responsible gambling practices.
- Deposit limits: Each player must have the ability to set limits on their daily, weekly, and monthly deposits, as well as the option to pay off any debts in the same manner as their original deposit, helping to prevent excessive gambling spending.
- Account deletion options: Players have the right to delete their gambling account either temporarily (for a period of 24 hours) or permanently. If an account is permanently deleted, the user will not be able to create a new account for the next six months, promoting responsible gambling behavior.
These requirements aim to safeguard players and promote responsible gambling practices among online operators in Romania, ensuring that players have access to necessary tools and information to make informed decisions about their gambling activity.
Software Solutions for Online Casinos and Sportsbooks
Securing top-quality software is paramount for successfully launching an online casino or sportsbook. The platform must possess the qualities of safety, reliability, functionality, and user-friendliness, while also being visually appealing to leave a lasting impression.
The partners of Gambling Consulting Expert can provide a huge selection of online casino software that are fully licensed in Romania. We are dedicated to assisting customers in seizing new opportunities to enter the gambling industry.
If you’re ready to take the plunge into Romania, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll be delighted to provide the guidance you need to get there.
Popular Game Choices among Players from Romania
Many popular slot games that have gained popularity in land-based casinos are also favored in the online sector, including among Romanian players who are drawn to vibrant animations and progressive jackpots with multiple levels of increasing wins. Classic choices such as blackjack and roulette also have a strong following among land-based casino visitors, and poker is highly popular, with Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, hosting numerous international poker tournaments.
Stocking a casino with a diverse range of high-quality games can be a time-consuming and challenging process, involving market research to understand player preferences and negotiations with multiple game providers. However, opting to use a reputable aggregator can save both time and money. By doing so, you can gain access to a wide selection of new and innovative games through a single integration session, and benefit from regular updates to your game portfolio, ensuring fresh and engaging content for your players.
Preferred Sports for Betting Among Romanian Bettors
Football remains the undisputed leader in sports betting, with Liga I, Cupa Ligii, the Romanian Women’s Cup, and other soccer leagues in Romania attracting significant attention from sports bettors.
Motorsports also command a notable share of bets, with racing leagues like Alex Cascatău Motorsport gaining popularity. Cycling events such as Ciclism Romania and Tour of Romania, among other bicycle races, also draw punters’ attention. Handball and tennis, like in many other European countries, are also commonly bet upon.
In addition to traditional sports, Romania has not been left behind in the global esports craze. The International E-Sports Federation (IESF) has announced that the final of the 15th World Cyber Games Championship, expected to host 1,200 players, will be held in Jassi, Romania in 2023. Esports is gaining traction among sports bettors in Romania as well.
Payment Options for Gambling Transactions
Similar to other European countries, Visa and Mastercard are among the most popular payment methods used by players in Romania. In addition to these, there are several other payment systems available to players, including electronic wallets such as PayPal, Skrill, and Neosurf, as well as popular cryptocurrencies.
To streamline the integration process of multiple payment methods and minimize the paperwork involved in signing individual contracts with each vendor, an aggregator can be utilized.
Gambling Consulting Expert offers consultancy services and complete package solutions for gambling license acquisition that include:
- Gambling jurisdiction and business advisory
- Gambling business corporate structure incorporation
- Opening bank accounts
- Gambling license application