Like much of Eastern Europe, gambling in Romania was entirely banned under Soviet rule. However, since the fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequent collapse of communism in Europe, the rules have become considerably looser, although there are still some legal issues surrounding gambling which gamblers should be aware of.
Gambling Under Romanian Law
When a democratically elected government came to power in the 1990s, casino gambling was legalized again, with the first new casino in the country being opened in 1991. Online gambling came along a few years later, but Romania has been a little slower in embracing online gambling than many other European nations. Until 2008, no law governing online gambling existed in the country and gambling existed in a legal gray area until 2013 with the establishment of the National Gambling Office. The legal and tax framework for legal online gambling in Romania is still something of a work in progress today, between the Romanian government and the EU.
Gambling Trends In Romania
As with other European nations, football is the number one sport wagered on by Romanians, but hardly the only one. Gambling on rugby, tennis and gymnastics (perhaps due to the fact that the country tends to excel at the sport) are not unknown.
Poker is also an important part of the gambling industry in Romania, with the country having hosted some of the largest tournaments in the world in recent years. Romania is also host to the annual Romanian Poker Championship, held each May in Bucharest. Mamaia, a Black Sea resort city was the site of 2013’s Pokerfest.
Gambling, both in casino and online forms has come a long way since the country broke away from the Soviet Union. However, there is still a lot of progress to come. The National Gambling Office is still in its infancy and as of yet, there are still relatively few fully licensed online gambling operations in the country. The EU also continues to object to the way that the country taxes online gambling and has been critical of what it sees as a corrupt gambling industry, even to the extent of keeping Romania out of the Schengen agreement on these grounds. Online gambling in Romania isn’t quite as developed as it is in some other countries, but Romanians are still able to play online in the virtual casinos of their choice.