Romania has had something of a mixed time with gambling laws, particularly those related to internet betting. Today, the country is just as muddled when it comes to what is legal and what isn’t. This has led to a bit of a standoff with the European Union. At a time when many other European countries are tightening restrictions, Romania’s gambling laws are somewhat in flux. It can be quite difficult for players in the country gauge what is legal and what isn’t. Fortunately, on this page, we can help straighten that up and guide to legitimate Romanian online casinos where you can play.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Romania?
Gambling has been legal in Romania since the 1990s. By 2003, internet betting was becoming rather popular, and Romania made headway by allowing all offshore sports betting sites (predominantly those in other European countries) the right to offer services to Romanians. This was done, primarily, as a way of showing the European Union (of which Romania was not yet a member) that they were ready for the single market.
In 2010, Romanian made all forms of online gambling legal, but there was a catch. Only countries which successfully applied for a Romanian gambling license would be able to offer their services. However, no body existing to award such licenses, and one of the terms required was that offshore operators needed to have a physical base in the country to obtain a license. At the same time, though, Romania did not prohibit access to offshore casinos. Technically, it was illegal for players to engage in gambling at offshore operators, but without a regulatory body, there was no punishment for doing so.
By 2013, the Romanian government decided to act. The National Gambling Office was formed, but they implemented the previous law that operators had to have a physical presence in the country to obtain a license. They also added a term which stated that those operators needed to have their servers in the country, and this put Romania and loggerheads with the European Union.
A final change occurred in 2019. The restrictions on licenses were relaxed somewhat, and offshore operators could now apply for gaming licenses in Romania. To date, few of the major operators have chosen to do so.
Romanian Online Casinos
There are very few bona fide Romanian online casinos. Only a handful of local enterprises and offshore casinos have gone to the trouble of applying for a gambling license. Many of the local services which have done so are tied to lotteries and sports betting websites.
Instead, many Romanian players have since turned to offshore casinos to engage in online gambling. There is still no punishment for Romanians who wish to do this, and that, in part, has persuaded offshore casino operators not to go down the route of obtaining a National Gambling Office license.
Offshore Casino Sites for Romanian Players
An offshore casino is deemed to be any foreign-based online casino which does not have a license issued by the Romanian National Gambling Office. This accounts for most of the major casinos in existence.
These Romanian online casinos will typically offer payment methods which are suitable for players in the country, and the Romanian leu currency. Moreover, they will provide gaming action in Romanian. As mentioned, these online casinos are not strictly legal, but as there are no punishments for playing at them, you are free to do as you wish at this moment in time.
Is Anything Likely to Change in the Future?
In the immediate future, nothing is likely to change in Romania. The country recently adopted its gambling laws in 2019. Thus far, it hasn’t seen foreign operators and international casino sites queuing up to obtain gambling licenses. If Romania does not implement a punishment for locals gambling at offshore casinos, or blocks on ISP (internet service provider) access at those sites, little is expected to change.
However, should Romania decide that it wants to instruct its ISPs to block access to foreign casinos, we would no doubt see a flurry of offshore operators clambering for licenses. Romania is a lucrative market, with a large gambling population. That said, the measures implemented in other EU countries aren’t severe, and your average Romanian should be able to get around any such blocks with a decent VPN (virtual private network).
Top Romanian Casino Sites
On this page, you will find a variety of online casinos which are suitable for Romanians. Most of these are the offshore casinos mentioned above. Romanians do not need to fear playing at any of these casinos, nor do they need to utilise VPNs to do so. As mentioned, despite what its official gambling laws might say, Romanians are, in essence, free to play at any online casino they wish for the time being.