Active players: 7.360.000
Currency: Romanian leu
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting (fixed odds & exchange), horse race betting, casino games, poker, keno, lottery, bingo
Operator types: Licensed online and offline operators. Unlicensed bookies are blacklisted
Designated authority: National Gambling Office (ONJN)
Betting has not always been a part of the Romanian culture, as all forms of gambling in Romania were prohibited until 1990, when the communist regime was overthrown. Nowadays it is estimated that about 45% of the total adult population engage in betting at least once every week, as online sports betting has been regulated since 2016. In order to operate legally, online bookies should apply for a local license issued by the National Gambling Office (ONJN). Currently there are 23 licensees operating within the country. Nonetheless, Romanian players still prefer .com bookmakers, like 22Bet and Pinnacle, because they offer higher odds, a greater variety of betting markets and more attractive bonuses.
Bet in Romania - 5 things to know
- Players under the age of 18 are prohibited from betting
- Betting on non-licensed sites is considered illegal. However, no legal action has been taken against players
- Players’ winnings are taxed in three different tiers
- At the moment there are 23 licensed operators in the local market
- Although the ONJN blacklisted many non-licensed bookies, they still manage to operate
Best Betting Sites in Romania
Right from the start, we are presenting you the best betting sites Romania has to offer. We selected them because they have high odds, offer their interface and support in Romanian and accept leu.
Online betting Romania: The gambling law framework
The legalization of gambling in Romania took place in 1990 when the liberal government that succeeded the communist regime passed legislation that allowed all forms of land-based gaming. More than a decade later and particularly in 2003, the country’s sports betting market was liberalized, meaning that the Romanian authorities allowed international companies to enter the local market. Up until 2009 though there wasn’t any specific mention on online betting within the Romanian gambling laws, thus foreign online bookies were operating freely within the market. Nevertheless, things changed from 2010 onwards, as the government took a decisive step towards the regulation of online betting in Romania with the establishment of a regulatory body.
More specifically, on March 27, 2013, the National Gambling Office (ONJN) was established and instantly got authorized by the state to issue licenses for online operators. According to its initial licensing requirements though, in order to acquire an online license, an operator should also have a physical offline presence within the country. Luckily, on December 29, 2014, those licensing requirements changed, with the establishment of the Emergency Ordinance no.92. International online operators stopped being obliged to own an offline gambling permit in order to apply for a local license. The current legal framework was eventually established in February 2016. According to the provisions of the law, any bookmaker, no matter if it's local or foreign, must have a valid Class 1 license issued by ONJN in order to operate in Romania. Apart from operators, all the other entities involved in the online betting environment (such as payment processors and software solution providers) should also be authorized by ONJN with a Class 2 license; according to the Government Decision 1067 of June 23, 2016.
Licensed Romanian bookmakers
Currently, there are 23 online operators in Romania that hold a Class 1 license issued by ONJN. Some of them are local, but there are also many international ones. All of them are required to have a local company and operate under a .ro domain; meaning that they should offer their interface in the Romanian language and accept the Romanian leu (RON) as a standard currency. It is also worth noting that since January 1, 2019, all licensees are subject to a 2% turnover tax.
International bookmakers accepting Romanian players
Since the number of licensed betting sites in Romania is limited, players are forced to look for solutions to overcome this situation. International bookmakers that don’t hold a license provide a very appealing alternative for Romanian bettors because their banking activity cannot be tracked and their winnings are not taxed. It is also worth noting that, although some of these bookmakers are on the blacklist issued by ONJN, they keep accepting locals. The most popular ones are 22Bet Romania and Pinnacle Romania.
Essential info for players
Although the government has tried to deter players from betting on non-licensed bookmakers, by threatening to impose fines on them, no such action has ever been taken. Taxation on players’ winnings is calculated in three different levels based on the amounts they withdraw. More specifically, a 1% tax is charged for winnings up to 66,750 lei. A 16% tax plus 667,5 lei are charged for winnings between 66,751 lei and 445,000 lei. Online operators withhold a tax of 25% and 61,187 lei have to be paid for winnings that exceed the amount of 445,000 lei. The legal gambling age in Romania is 18. So, in order to deter minors from wagering, Romanian bookmakers ask players to validate their identity by sending a copy of their ID and proof of residence.
How to deposit at bet sites in Romania
You can choose from a great number of different ways in order to make a deposit or a withdrawal on your account; as Romania betting sites offer all the popular international payment methods. The most common options are credit/debit cards (i.e Visa or Mastercard), bank transfer and vouchers; namely, Paysafecard. Furthermore, globally accepted e-wallets such as Neteller & Skrill and the Russian e-wallet Qiwi, are being used at an increasing rate. It is also worth noting that cryptocurrency deposits are becoming very popular, especially among players that choose to bet on non-licensed bet sites in Romania.
The future of Romania betting
Despite the regulation of online Romania bet market in 2016 and the establishment of a licensing authority in 2013, the number of licensed bookmakers that operate in Romania is quite small. Big international brands, such as Bet365 Romania and William Hill Romania, were forced to leave the market due to the back taxes that were imposed on bookies’ profits from 2010 till 2015 and stopped accepting local bettors. Nevertheless, there are other international bookies that keep accepting Romanians and don’t seem interested in applying for a local license due to the high tax rates. The crafty Romanian bettors have already shown their preference towards these bookies and found ways to bypass the government's attempts to block them. Thus, the authorities should focus on protecting the players' interests and let competition improve the local market, by finding ways to make it more attractive to international brands.
Complete List οf Romanian Bookmakers
Bet365 is one of the biggest global brands that hasn’t applied for a Romanian license and was actually forced by ONJN to exit the local market. Therefore, you cannot use Bet365 if you reside in Romania.
William Hill is yet another big international brand that decided to exit the Romanian market and don’t apply for a local license due to the high taxation. It was then deemed illegal by ONJN and got blacklisted.
Bwin is one of the biggest global brands that hasn’t applied for a Romanian license and subsequently it was included on the blacklist issued by ONJN. It doesn’t accept local bettors, therefore you cannot use Bwin Romania.