Romania Gambling License

iGaming Express provides practical and insightful consultancy, data, and market reports for the Romanian gambling industry.

We are iGaming Express, a dedicated team of gambling experts proudly serving the Romanian Gambling Industry since 2014.

With a population of almost 20 million inhabitants, Romania is the sixth most populous EU member state and the 12th largest country in Europe, with an area of 238,397 square kilometers. Located at the intersection of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, with the Black Sea as its neighbors to the south-east, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the south-west and Moldova to the east.

In a World Bank report, Romania is presented as a country with high incomes, having a mixed economy. It is among the most energy independent countries in the European Union, having one of the largest reserves of crude oil and shale gas in Europe. Romania is a net exporter of electricity and ranks 48th worldwide in terms of electricity consumption. About a third of the energy produced comes from renewable sources.

In 2022, Romania ranked 4th in internet speeds and second in Europe after Monaco.

Since 2000, Romania has attracted an increasing number of foreign investments, becoming the largest investment destination in South-East and Central Europe. The online gambling industry is very well regulated and in line with EU legislative models, but with better taxation and many additional advantages. The detailed study of successful European regulations and the contribution of gambling associations guarantee that Romania is a big new market for online gaming operators.

The Romanian gambling market is in continuous rapid growth, becoming an attractive European destination for major international operators.

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1. Regulatory framework

Is there a Gambling Act in force?

Yes. Gambling in Romania is regulated by GEO no. 77/2009 and by the Methodological Norms issued in its implementation.

Is online gambling a regulated activity?

Yes. Online gambling is regulated by GEO no. 77/2009 and by the Methodological Norms.

Are there gambling regulatory authorities?

Yes. The gambling regulatory authority is the National Gaming Office (ONJN).

Is there a regulatory regime for gambling advertising?

Yes. Gambling advertisements are regulated under both gambling legislation and legislation governing the broadcasting (TV/radio) industry.

2. Corporate structure and governance

Is it necessary to establish a company in Romania to carry out gambling activities?

Not. The establishment of a commercial company in Romania is not necessary.

Is there a certain mandatory legal form of business to establish a gambling company?


Can foreign shareholders establish a local branch?


Are there any restrictions on foreign investment?


Are there minimum requirements regarding the share capital needed to establish a gaming company?

Yes. Gambling operators must have a share capital of at least 1 million RON (approx. 200,000 EUR or equivalent).
The licensing requirements for a gambling company’s statutory capital are as follows:
– For organizers operating lottery games: minimum 2 million RON
– For organizers operating mutual bets: minimum 1 million RON
– For organizers operating fixed odds betting: minimum 1 million RON
– For organizers operating betting exchanges: minimum 1 million RON
– For organizers operating casino gambling: minimum 1 million RON
– For organizers operating slot-machine games: minimum 30,000 RON
– For organizers operating bingo games in gaming halls: minimum 100,000 RON
– For organizers operating online gambling: minimum 1 million RON
– For organizers operating bingo games through television network systems: minimum 1 million RON
– For organizers of temporary games: minimum 1 million RON
– For organizers of poker festivals: minimum 100,000 RON
– For organizers of poker clubs: minimum 100,000 RON
– For organizers of raffle games (traditional gambling): minimum 100,000 RON.
Please note that if a single organizer applies for a license that involves the use of several gambling categories from those described above, the statutory capital requirements are calculated cumulatively.

Can foreign citizens be part of the management of a gambling company?

Yes. There is no restriction regarding the citizenship of the company’s managers.

Apart from taxes, are there any other mandatory reporting requirements regarding the corporate governance issues of a gaming company?

Yes. Any change to the corporate structure (shareholders, share capital, directors/administrators, headquarters (or any other information provided to ONJN in the licensing/authorization process) must be notified to ONJN within five working days of their registration.

3. Licensing

Are gambling licensing clearly regulated by local regulations (including the licensing process, criteria, filing requirements, license conditions and ongoing compliance requirements)?

Yes. GEO no. 77/2009 and the Methodological Rules of Application regulate the conditions and procedure for granting the license for gambling, as well as the compliance requirements. The legislation also gives ONJN the general prerogative to request any additional information/documents it deems relevant to the licensing or oversight process.

Licenses for different types of gambling.

For any type of activity, it is necessary to obtain a gambling license, regardless of what it is called, which cumulatively meets the following criteria:
implies the granting of a financial benefit, usually monetary;
as a result of a public offer by the organizer of a potential win and the acceptance of such an offer by a participant;
subject to the payment of a tax/participation fee (direct or indirect);
winnings being determined based on the rules of the game.
Casino Games License?
Sports Betting License?
Games of skill License?
Not. According to the Romanian legislation in force, competitions that are won exclusively on the basis of skills, knowledge, expertise, etc. of the participant, without the intervention of any random element, does not qualify as gambling.
Card games License?
Lottery License?
Arcades License?

Does a software developer creating video games for the gaming industry need a gaming license?

Yes. Companies providing services to the gaming industry, such as gaming software, hosting platforms and services, auditing and certification services, payment processing services, etc., must obtain a Class II (B2B) license .

How long is valid the gambling license and authorization to operate gambling?

All gaming operators must obtain both a Class I (B2C) gaming license and a gaming operating permit. The gambling license is valid for 10 years, while the gambling operation authorization is valid for 1 year and must be renewed annually.

How long does it take to obtain a gambling license and authorization to operate gambling?

Approximately 4 weeks of which the ONJN review is 2 weeks. The license comes into force on the 1st of the month following the one in which the license was approved by ONJN (provided the license fee is paid).

Is there a limit to the number of licenses that can be granted?


Are there specific licensing requirements?

Yes. Gambling operators must comply with a wide range of requirements to obtain and maintain a licence. Such requirements refer to, but are not limited to, the minimum share capital, the payment of license tax and other contributions, the deposit of the guarantee for the payment of budgetary taxes, the good reputation and the absence of criminal records of the gambling operator and the directors and legal representatives of his etc.

4. Compliance

Are there mandatory AML rules in general and specific to the gambling industry?

Yes. Law no. 129/2018 is the general framework of AML legislation in Romania. It also applies to the gambling industry. Work is currently underway on a draft AML regulation that will include specific AML provisions for the gambling industry.

Are there specific reporting obligations for gambling companies regarding AML and data protection?

Yes. Gambling operators have the same AML/data protection reporting obligations as all other reporting entities.

5. Data protection

Are there specific data protection regulations?

Yes. GDPR and Secondary Legislation in GDPR Implementation.

Does it apply extraterritorially?

Yes. Just like the GDPR legislation.

Is there a data protection regulator?

Yes. This is called the National Authority for the Supervision of Personal Data Processing.

6. Exchange control and other cross-border issues

Are there currency/exchange/finance controls to transfer cash in and out of the country?

Not. There are no limitations on transferring cash from or within the country.

7. Marketing and Advertising

Is marketing and advertising allowed in the gambling industry?

Yes. Marketing and advertising activities for gambling are carried out in accordance with the rules established in the gambling, advertising and audio-visual regulations.

Are there advertising restrictions for gambling companies?

Yes. The legislation in force presents the restrictions on when, where and to whom gambling can be marketed. For example, physical advertising materials cannot be placed in the vicinity of schools or other educational facilities or religious institutions; TV/radio gambling ads can only be broadcast at certain times; bonus promotions cannot be promoted outside of the site/websites of the gaming operator or its affiliates.

Can gambling companies sponsor sports events?


Are celebrities allowed to advertise gambling activities?

Yes. Although there is no black-and-white rule against the use of celebrities in the marketing of gambling activities, there is still a guideline developed by the ONJN regarding the responsible promotion of gambling, whereby gambling operators should refrain from the use of celebrities in promotional materials related to gambling.

Are there CSR requirements for gambling companies?

Yes. All gambling operators must comply with responsible gambling principles/regulations. They must also make an annual financial contribution to a fund whose income is used to combat gambling addiction.

8. Tax

Is there any specific tax regime applicable to gambling companies?

License fee.
Land-based gambling operators pay an annual license fee that starts at €10,000 for poker festivals and €135,000 for lottery games, depending on the type of gambling activities that are provided.
Online gambling operators pay an annual license fee that is calculated by reference to the operator’s turnover. The tax varies between €15,600 per year (for an annual turnover of less than €500,000) and €312,000 per year (for a turnover exceeding €10 million).
Companies holding a Class II license pay the annual license fee of €9,500.
Companies holding Class III licenses (monopoly online lottery games) pay an annual license fee of €150,000.

Authorization fee.
Land-based gambling operators pay an annual license fee that varies according to the type of gambling activities that are provided.
Online gambling operators pay 23% tax on GGR, but not less than €120,000 per year.

License Issuance Fees. A fee of €9,500 is payable for the issuance of gambling licences, which applies to all categories of gambling licences.
There is also a fee of €500 for a review of the license application file for land-based operations, and for online gambling, gambling operators pay €3,000.
The new law introduced a fee of €150 per year for an analysis of the file submitted for the issuance (or annual renewal) of a gambling permit.

Participation fee. The organizers of online gambling games are obliged to pay a monthly tax of 2% calculated from the total participation fees collected each month.

Advertising fee. Starting from 2023, an advertising fee of 5% will be charged from the value of the advertising contracts.

Other fees. Operators pay the following annual contributions to the social responsibility activity for the prevention of gambling addiction:
– gambling operators holding a class I license: €5,000;
– legal entities holding a Class II license: €1,000;
– online games with state monopoly class III: €5,000;
– licensed traditional gambling operators: €1,000.
A fee of €150 is charged for a review of the documentation submitted to obtain NGO approval for the integration of new games/re-certification of games on online gambling platforms.

By law, the following special taxes also apply:
– for VLT: 3% of the gambling income of the licensed operator.
– access fee/entrance ticket:
(i) for games of chance specific for casinos: 50 LEI
(i) for games of chance specific for casinos: 50 LEI
(ii) for games of chance specific for poker clubs: 30 LEI.
– slot machine and VLT vice fee: €500/licensed machine/year, which the operator pays together with the license fee, regardless of whether the licensed machine is put into operation or not.

The LEI value of the fees set in EUR is calculated by converting the amounts expressed in EUR based on the exchange rate established on the first working day of October of the previous year, published in the Official Journal of the European Union. This rate is used for the following year.

Is there a tax implication for transferring cash out of the country?


Is there a tax implication for offering remote trading activities in the country?

Yes. Depending on the activities carried out, it should be analyzed whether a permanent establishment is obtained in Romania.

Are there any other comments on the taxation of gambling activities (local and remote)?


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