Gambling licenses and certificates in Romania

The gambling industry in Romania has been shaped over the past three decades. During this time, the local government passed several significant bills related to gambling regulation. Today, there are two regulatory authorities operating in the country, which monitor the activities of casinos and sportsbooks.

In particular, the Ministry of Finance of Romania oversees all financial transactions that in one way or another are related to the gambling sector. These include earnings of land-based and online casinos and bookmakers as well as taxes on gambling activities.

Under the Ministry of Finance, there is the Romanian National Gambling Office (ONJN). This body is responsible for issuing licenses and certificates. Essentially, the ONJN aligns the interests of the state and gambling operators. On its website, gamblers can follow information about licensed establishments and check what platforms have been blacklisted.

What types of gambling are allowed in Romania?

The following types of gambling are officially legal in Romania:

  • Land-based sports betting;
  • Slot machines;
  • Totalizators;
  • Poker;
  • Roulette;
  • Bingo;
  • Blackjack;
  • All of the above in online formats.

Lotteries are also subject to mandatory regulation in Romania. Like any other gambling form, they are controlled by the ONJN. All the types of gambling mentioned above require a separate license.

Social games as well as skill games and competitions are exempt from licensing. The former have no money prize, a necessary element of gambling, while the latter lack the element of chance.

Types of gambling licenses in Romania

There are three types of licenses currently available in Romania:

  1. Class 1 License. Issued to B2C operators offering gambling activities on the Romanian market. Both land-based and remote operators can obtain this type of license.
  2. Class 2 License. Issued to B2B suppliers who provide gambling services, and cooperate with Romania-licensed B2C-operators. Software developers and suppliers, online streaming casino providers, and payment system operators, among others, are required to obtain a Class 2 license.
  3. Class 3 License. Issued exclusively to the National Romanian Lottery. The company has a monopoly on the Romanian market and is the only legal lottery organizer in the country.

Gambling taxation in Romania

Until August 2022, the Romanian gambling market was considered one of the most attractive for operators in Europe due to its low taxes. The gambling tax rate in the country depends on the income level. Until August, the following taxes were in force:

  • 1% for income up to RON 66,750;
  • 16% for income between RON 66,750 and RON 445,000;
  • 25% for income over RON 445,000.

On August 1, 2022, the Government Ordinance no. 16/2022 was amended, raising the tax rates to the following:

  • 3% for income up to RON 10,000;
  • 20% + RON 300 for income between RON 10,000 and RON 66,750;
  • 40% + RON 11 650 for income over RON 66,750.

These rates apply to online casinos and online sportsbooks. For land-based gambling operators, there is a flat tax rate depending on the type of services provided, from €10,000 per year for poker festivals to €115,000 per year for land-based casinos.

Licensing requirements in Romania

Let’s talk about some of the rules that apply to gambling operators in Romania. In order to legally open a land-based casino, the following requirements must be met:

  • Regardless of its location, a gambling room must have a separate entrance.
  • At least 10 gaming tables are required, 4 of which must be reserved for roulette.
  • A land-based casino must be equipped in compliance with all operating standards (which include the availability of an employee restroom, communication tools, a toilet, etc.)

Furthermore, every building is required to pass a check for compliance with fire and sanitary standards.

Additional requirements to operators include:

  • Romanian residency. In order to obtain a gambling license, an operator must be a resident of Romania or the EU. Foreign companies are required to appoint an authorized representative who is a Romanian citizen.
  • Opening a bank account in Romania. The account will hold players’ funds. All operators who obtained a gambling license in Romania must pay out winnings only through ONJN-approved payment systems.
  • Share capital. The minimum required amount of share capital will depend on the type of games offered (RON 2,000,000 for lottery games, RON 1,000,000 for land-based casino games, RON 100,000 for bingo, RON 1,000,000 for online casino games, etc.).
  • Compliance with all child protection principles.

Conclusion

Both land-based and online casinos are allowed to operate in Romania. A license is issued separately for each licensed type of gambling activity. As of today, the country has one of the lowest tax rates for casino operators and sportsbooks.

May 4, 2023
Igor Rumyantsev
Igor is the Head of Banking and Licensing Department at GamingLicensing who has over 15 years of experience in the industry. He is responsible for game and payment system integration, iGaming product licensing, and B2B certification. Igor is an expert in the gambling sector and game licensing. He keeps a close watch on industry trends and is always open to new ideas that can improve GamingLicensing’s services and help our clients.

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