Gambling in Romania
Gambling is fully legal in Romania today, and it is widespread in all its forms. The country has long history of legal gambling, starting in 1906 with the establishment of the national lottery - Loteria Romana. During the Communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu, gambling was made illegal, but in 1990 the regime was toppled and gambling made legal again. The first post communist casino opened in 1991.
Today, there are more than 20 casinos in Romania, with more than 20,000 gaming machines found in arcade halls, coffee shops, and other prime locations throughout the country. Sports gambling is also fully legal, and high-street betting shops can be found in most major Romanian cities. The gambling culture in Romania matured quickly, and although regulation is fairly new, the industry is very strong.
Online Gambling in Romania
Online gambling in Romania has only recently become legal, with the creation of the National Gaming Office on April 4th 2013. Before, online gambling has been technically legal since 2010, when legislation was passed that legalized online gambling with a government license. With no regulatory body, however, there was no chance for operators to apply.
With the Romanian government asking for online casinos to have a stake in land based Romanian casinos, the European Commission has continually blocked their regulation. As such, there are plenty of foreign based casinos available to Romanians, but as of 2014, no local sites have been awarded licenses.
Online sportsbooks are also popular in Romania, but again, these are mainly large foreign based operators without Romanian licenses.