Casinos in Romania
While all gambling except for the national lottery was illegal throughout communism, casinos were legalized in 1990, shortly after the brutal end to Ceausescu’s reign. It took a year for the first casino to emerge, but in 1991, Casino Bucharest opened its doors. Like many Romanian casinos today, Casino Bucharest is attached to a large, 5-star hotel.
As casinos in Romania need an expensive license for each table and each machine they operate, casinos tend to be small. The largest Romanian casino in operation was Casino Palace in Bucharest, but it closed in April 2012. Nowadays, the largest is the Princess Casino Havana, also in Bucharest, with 105 machines and 12 tables. Most machines in the country, including slot machines and video poker games, are in fact found outside of casinos – there are more than 900 companies offering an amazing 23,000 licensed gambling machines across Romania.
Online Casinos in Romania
With the foundation of the National Gambling Office in April 2013, casinos became able to apply for online licenses: more than 2 years after online casinos were made technically legal. However, with no means to gain a license, operators were unable to open up shop in the Eastern European country.
With the law stating that online casinos should be attached to a land based casino, there has been a series of challenges from the EU about the legality of the laws, meaning that online casinos still occupy a grey area. As such, foreign based casinos often offer services to Romanians, and have gained in popularity as gambling has grown.