In 1998, Romanian Government adopted a resolution containing the new licensing rules and requirements for their applicants. However, a major blow to gambling businesses was delivered with the replacement of the resolution on April 1, 1999. The law listed the acceptable forms of gambling and included a number of restrictions and interpretations of several aspects, not in favor of operators.
Now running gambling business in Romania legally demands an obligatory registration of the company in the country, and the current participants of this market should have to pass extend licensing conditions once in 3 – 10 years.
Direct regulation of gambling in the Romanian legislation is quite loyal to its operators. The procedure for obtaining a license is not complicated, and until recently did not even need special financial guarantees. However, the development of this market is constrained by the high level of taxes and fees.
The complexity of the development of online gambling
Lawmakers remained still as for legalizing online gambling. On this issue, the Romanian rules are contrary to the rules of the European Union, and the government refused to bow to foreign authorities and even some local operators. Despite the wishes of a wide range of players, the powers that be did not intend to change the situation.
Prior to the entry of Romania into the European Union online gambling business existed in infancy; however, minor steps in legislation direction have been made. It would seem that the Romanian citizens have the opportunity to play over the Internet, but in reality it was quite complicated.
Foreign operators were allowed to conduct online gambling business only through its subsidiaries, registered in the country, and acquiring a license from the controlling gambling in the real world was obligatory. This fact complicated their access to the market and increased the overheads making the conduct of the business unprofitable.
In 2011 a new draft law on gambling on the Internet was introduced. However, just like the old edition, it was heavily criticized by the EU Commission for a number of legal inaccuracies in the wording and the way chosen by the authorities seemed to be too rigid. For example, a manager could be subjected to charges and up to 2 years of prison, while under certain circumstances the company could lose all the permissions.
Authorities expected to modify the system of taxation for online institutions and achieve growth in revenues in the future. According to dfev.de gambling report, published on the official website of the reputed online gambling database, Romanian market of virtual casinos and bookmakers was estimated at €500 million.
Rigidity of legislation and high taxes and fees simply not only reduced the return of gambling, but also created unprofitable conditions for some businesses. For example, about €31 million was the loss of a well-known casino network Olympic. However, fortunately for the industry, a liberalization amendment was adopted in 2013 and a new epoch for Romanian online gambling world started.