Navigating the Gambling Landscape: Licenses and Laws in Romania

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Romania, a member of the European Union, has evolved into a regulated and attractive market for gambling operators. The country’s gambling sector underwent significant reform in the last decade, with the aim of creating a transparent, competitive, and safe environment for both operators and players.

Before 2015, the Romanian gambling landscape was seen as fragmented and non-compliant with European standards. The need for a robust legal framework was evident. The year 2015 marked a significant shift when Romania adopted the Emergency Ordinance on Gambling (GEO 77/2009), thus aligning its gambling regulations with the European Commission’s standards.

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Key Gambling Regulations

  • Government Emergency Ordinance 77/2009 (GEO 77/2009): This primary legislation addresses the organization and operation of games of chance.
  • Government Decision 111/2016: Approves the methodological norms for the effective implementation of GEO 77/2009, often referred to as the “Secondary Legislation.”
  • Government Emergency Ordinance 20/2013: Focuses on the establishment and functioning of the National Gambling Office. It also amends certain aspects of GEO 77/2009.
  • Government Decision 298/2013: Specifies the organization and operational dynamics of the National Gambling Office.
  • Romanian Fiscal Code (Law 227/2015): A comprehensive document covering fiscal matters, including those pertinent to gambling.
  • Law 207/2015: Highlights the procedural aspects of the fiscal code.
  • National Gambling Office’s Orders: These orders (47/2016, 48/2016, 93/2016, 89/2018, 179/2018, 38/2019, 400/2019, 404/2020, and 86/2021) lay down directives ranging from remote gambling operations to the technical specifications and fiscal obligations of gambling tools and platforms.
  • Government Emergency Ordinance 114/2018 (GEO 114/2018): Introduces fiscal-budgetary measures and amends certain legislative documents.
  • Law 129/2019: A pivotal document that addresses the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. It also offers amendments to existing laws.
  • National Audiovisual Council’s Decision 614/2019: This updates the Code of Regulation of Audiovisual Content, providing clarity on content regulations.
  • Government Emergency Ordinance 48/2020: This introduces specific fiscal measures.
  • Government Ordinance 15/2022: A recent amendment focusing on the modification of licensing and authorization fees for gambling organizers.

Primary Regulatory Bodies

  • National Gambling Office (ONJN): The ONJN is the main authority overseeing gambling activities in Romania. They are responsible for issuing licenses, monitoring compliance, and ensuring fair play.

Key Aspects of Romanian Gambling Law

  • Licensing: For any gambling operator to legally function in Romania, acquiring a license from the ONJN is imperative. Licenses are categorized based on the nature of gambling – online, land-based, B2B services, etc.
  • Taxes: Gambling operators are subjected to a license fee and an annual authorization fee, both dependent on the operator’s annual income.
  • Player Protection: Players must be 18 years or older. Operators are mandated to promote responsible gambling and provide tools to help players control their betting.
  • Advertising Restrictions: While advertising gambling is permitted, there are guidelines that operators must follow. For instance, ads shouldn’t appeal to minors or suggest that gambling can be a steady source of income.

Types of Gambling Allowed

  • Land-based Casinos: These are prevalent in major cities, with Bucharest housing the majority. They offer classic casino games, slot machines, and sometimes betting services.
  • Online Gambling: Online casinos, poker rooms, and sports betting sites have seen a surge in popularity. They require a specific online gambling license from the ONJN.
  • Sports Betting: Both online and offline sports betting is popular in Romania. Many international operators have acquired licenses to tap into this market.
  • Lotteries: The state monopoly, Loteria Română, primarily controls lotteries.
  • Slot Machine Parlours: These are widespread and require a separate licensing process.

Pros and Cons of the Romanian Gambling License

Romania’s emergence as a regulated gambling market in Europe has made it an attractive destination for many operators. Like every jurisdiction, obtaining a Romanian gambling license comes with its benefits and challenges. Here’s a balanced look:


  • European Compliance: Romania’s gambling regulations are in line with European Commission’s standards, which increases its trustworthiness and reputation in the global market.
  • Access to Growing Market: Romania’s regulated market is growing, giving licensed operators an opportunity to tap into an expanding customer base.
  • Clarity in Regulation: The Romanian National Gambling Office (ONJN) provides clear guidelines, criteria, and processes for obtaining and maintaining a license.
  • Broad Scope: Romania’s gambling license covers a range of activities, including online casinos, sports betting, poker rooms, and slot machine parlours.
  • Taxation: While operators are subject to taxes, they are relatively moderate compared to some other European jurisdictions. There’s a clarity in taxation, which reduces hidden costs for operators.
  • Player Trust: For players, a license from a European country that aligns with the European Commission’s guidelines increases trust in fair play, security, and transparency.


  • Regulatory Changes: The Romanian gambling landscape has witnessed several regulatory changes in the past decade. This can mean that operators must be prepared for periodic adjustments to their operations to remain compliant.
  • Advertising Restrictions: Although advertising is allowed, there are stringent guidelines to follow. This can limit the marketing strategies operators can employ, especially in appealing to newer demographics.
  • Player Protection Measures: Operators are required to implement extensive player protection measures, which, while being an ethical practice, can increase operational costs.
  • Competitive Market: Given the growing attractiveness of the Romanian gambling market, it’s becoming increasingly competitive. New operators might find it challenging to establish a foothold.
  • License Costs: Apart from the taxation, there’s a licensing fee that operators must pay, which might be on the higher side, especially for smaller entities or startups.
  • Enforcement Actions: The ONJN has been known to take strict enforcement actions against operators found in breach of regulations. This requires operators to maintain a high level of diligence to ensure complete compliance.

How can Szilaghi Consulting help you get your Online Gambling License?

Embarking on the intricate journey of iGaming solutions demands the support of seasoned professionals. Szilaghi Consulting, with its profound industry knowledge and proficiency, emerges as a guiding light for those deciphering Romanian gambling regulations. Our dedication extends beyond mere guidance; we’re committed to ensuring your enterprise flourishes in this ever-evolving domain.

To encapsulate, the Romanian online gambling realm offers a plethora of advantages for prospective investors. Its political stability, enticing tax benefits, and broad advertising avenues make Romania an astute choice for global operators. It’s essential to remain informed about local gambling regulations, guaranteeing a smooth and law-abiding gaming experience.

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