Romania has been moving backwards and forwards, legalizing and banning online and TV gambling since 2002, going through patches of uncertainty and trying to reach agreement between wildly varying perceptions.
TV Bingo has been through a lot of changes in the past, people arguing to and fro about the benefits and problems it creates for the Romanian society and economy, this has resulted in TV Bingo itself being banned twice, once from 2002 until June 2009 and again in 2012 for reasons varying from the unprofitability of the practice, to the morality of it. Now in 2013 TV Bingo is making its return, officials hope to generate more jobs and more money for the state budget as TV Bingo airs again in people’s homes.
Online gaming too has been in the midst of uncertainty with those pushing to encourage iGaming held off with something of a catch 22 within the law. Online gambling became legalized in 2010 but Romania has only now started to act upon the legislation in order to make online gambling (now ‘legal’) possible to operate lawfully. The legislation that legalized online gambling specified that a third party organization must be in place to monitor the industry before the practice is legal. Even though this law was passed in 2010 this regulatory body was only created in 2013.
The third party organization was intended to be an economic operator, a private company with experience in the industry and a team equipped to deal with the problems that arose, but could also be a purpose built state authority. When no economic operators eligible applied for the position the Government eventually took matters into their own hands and created the National Gambling Office to monitor the online gambling industry in Romania in 2013 and online gambling is now officially legal!
However waiting for the specified regulatory body to become operational seemed to have slipped a lot of minds and after 2010 with the initial Bill being passed, Romania’s online gambling market bloomed, most of these gaming operators entirely aware that their activities were still technically illegal. This illegal online gambling happening across the country is one of the major reasons for Romania finally taking the bull by the horns so to speak and raising the National Gambling Office, bringing online gambling into full legality. The illegal online gambling in Romania has seen hundreds of millions of Euros gambled into its pockets by Romanian people and the State has not benefited from one penny of it.
Now with online gambling finally legal the State is expected to receive €20.5 million this year and increasingly more in the years to come. However, without strict enforcement of the law, online gambling operators that existed before the National Gambling Office began their work will not submit themselves willingly to work within the guides and laws created or pay the taxes and get the required licenses. Firm handling of the law with companies is the only way that will ensure that all online gambling operators are brought under the same regulations and taxations which will help the economy and keep the online gambling market strong in Romania in the future.