Romania in the 20th century was witnessing a rise in popularity for the gambling industry but historically speaking, the communist era between 1945 and 1989 had a deep impact on this industry overall.
Loteria Romana, the country’s national lottery was legally established in 1906 when the country was still protected from communistic tendencies. Fast-forward to 1990 when the Democratic Party took over the government and the gambling market was once again allowed to flourish. 1991 saw the launch of the first legal casino but online gambling was still far on the horizon.
In 2003 investments in the state were coming from overseas in the form of sports betting. Seeing as no legislation existed in 2008 when Romania was finally allowed to join the European Union, the country was still in rocky waters concerning the state of legality for online gambling, and as a matter of fact, for gambling in general.
The confusion was yet again perpetuated when in 2010 the government legalized gambling but was lacking a regulatory body, someone that could hand out licenses and so online casino operators started offering their services in Romanian but still had no legal status, although the government did not do much to stop them.
Two years ago, in April of 2013, the National Gambling Office was born whose sole purpose is to hand out licenses to gambling businesses. This action did not go unnoticed by the EU as certain clauses needed to be included for the NGO to have the proper regulations in order to officiate licenses. One of the major loopholes in regulations was that no tax regulation existed, and so this year Romania is planning to offer licenses to operators that can pay those taxes, and perhaps even as far back as five years’ worth of revenue is owed to the state.
With the state of the market in a relatively stable position, Romania can boast having been host to major Poker tournaments. The Romanian Poker Championship, that takes place every May and is held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bucharest, has been attracting top European players over the last few years. The renowned Black Sea is not without events, hosting the 2013 PokerFest at the beautiful Mamaia beach.
Regardless of the high governmental level of corruption, it is expected that Romania will continue this gambling growth trend, especially in the online market.