Romania is an Eastern European country that joined the European Union in January 2007. Since then, Romania has witnessed exponential economic growth. Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, is the most visited attraction in Romania. The living standard in Romania is constantly improving, which sets good conditions for the development of the gambling market.
Although we cannot say that Romanian people are avid gamblers, most of them certainly enjoy this pastime, and figures come to prove this. According to data compiled by Statista, Romania’s online sports betting market was estimated at $87 million in 2019. The industry is projected to grow to over $202 million by 2026. The most popular sports in Romania are football, hockey, tennis, horse racing, and boxing.
Best Sports Betting Sites in Romania
According to Romania’s gambling law, all forms of gambling, including sports betting, are legal. However, betting companies must obtain licenses from the Romanian gambling regulator to operate in the country.
For one reason or another, the number of betting sites that have received a stamp of approval from the Romanian gambling authority is limited. That is why many Romanian punters use the services of foreign betting sites. In the list below, you can find some of the most reliable sportsbooks that accept bettors from Romania.
Best Sports Betting Bonuses in Romania
Betting on sports is a favorite pastime for many Romanians. Online betting sites that accept bettors from this country offer various bonuses to lure in newcomers. Online sportsbooks also treat their existing punters to some generous incentives. Note that sports betting promotional offers come with bonus terms to which you must adhere.
Match Deposit Bonuses
Many online sportsbooks offer match deposit bonuses. In most cases, such promotions are available to newcomers only who fund their accounts for the first time. Match deposit bonuses usually have a limit and come with a playthrough condition, minimum odds requirement, and time limit.
Depending on the betting platform you join, you may be treated to a free bet bonus. Free bets allow punters to place a wager on a sporting event without using any of their funds. If the bet wins, you will collect a profit. Given that you lose the free bet, your real-money balance will remain unchanged.
Generally speaking, this sports betting bonus allows bettors to recoup the losses of a losing wager. The refund from the risk-free bet bonus is usually credited as free bets. A crucial thing to mention is that risk-free bets and free bets are two different sports betting bonuses.
Accumulator bets combine multiple selections into a single wager and pay only if all legs win. If one selection lets you down, the entire bet is a loss. But with Acca insurance, if all but one selection wins, the sportsbook will give your stake back in the form of free site credits.
Betting Regulation in Romania
In 1906, Romania’s national lottery, Loteria Romana, was established, becoming the first form of legalized gambling in the country. Funds from the lottery were used to support different social programs such as education and healthcare. Between 1947 to 1989, Romania was a Soviet satellite state. During this period, all forms of gambling were banned. But the prohibition only gave rise to illegal gambling activities.
Only one year after the communist regime collapsed in 1989, land-based casino gambling was legalized. The first brick-and-mortar casino in Romania was established in 1991. However, the country failed to introduce a cut-and-dried regulatory framework. At that time, betting shops, casinos, and slot machine parlors started to spring up like mushrooms, operating without a license. In 2003, the government opened its sports betting industry to foreign companies.
At that time, remote gambling was neither legal nor illegal simply because there was no legislation in place. But the exponential growth of online gambling made it clear that the country must amend and modernize its gambling law.
Romania Legalizes Online Sports Betting
In 2010, the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 77/2009 was signed into law, legalizing online gambling and sports betting. According to the law, foreign operators must obtain a local license to operate in Romania. But the law had one big loophole – it did not specify what licensing conditions operators must fulfill to receive permission. Besides, no regulatory authority to issue licenses and oversee the industry existed at that time. As a result, many foreign operators started accepting players and sports fans from Romania without having a license.
In 2013, the Romanian government passed Government Emergency Ordinance no. 20/2013, under which the National Gaming Office (NGO) was established. The NGO was tasked with setting clear licensing rules, overseeing the gambling industry, and issuing licenses.
But the European Union challenged the new rules because the NGO required foreign operators to establish a physical base in Romania and locate the servers maintaining the sites in the country. Besides, the gambling regulator introduced a tax scheme for online poker under which every individual bet is subject to a tax.
In 2016, Romania introduced new gambling reforms, according to which companies based in an EU member state, a country within the European Economic Area (EEA), or the Swiss Confederacy are allowed to obtain a license from Romania’s gambling regulator if they run their Romanian mirror sites from within the country.
The country has invested a lot of effort to block access to unlicensed gambling and sports betting sites. The Romanian gambling law even states that a fine will be imposed on Romanian sports fans and players who use the services of unlicensed gambling sites. However, not many operators burn with the desire to acquire a Romanian license due to unfavorable licensing conditions and high taxes. Licensed betting sites must not allow bettors from Romania to deposit more than €200 until they verify their identity.
Gambling Winnings are Taxed in Romania
One of the main reasons why Romanian punters resort to offshore sportsbooks is the hefty taxes imposed on gambling winnings. Sports fans must pay a tax ranging from 3% to 40%, depending on the amount they win. In 2022, the government introduced amendments to the Romanian Tax Code, under which the current taxes on gambling winnings are:
- 3% for gambling winnings of up to RON10,000
- For winnings between RON10,000 and RON66,750, Romanian punters will have to pay RON300 plus 20% if their profits exceed RON10,000
- For income above RON66,750, the tax is RON11,650 plus 40% for income in excess of RON66,750
A crucial thing to mention is that the legal gambling age in Romania is 18.
Gambling Advertising Restrictions
Gambling advertising is also strictly regulated in Romania. Licensed operators are allowed to promote casino and sports betting bonuses on their websites or their affiliates’ websites. Promoting gambling activities that are not authorized by the Romanian regulator is strictly prohibited. Licensed companies must not send advertising materials to self-excluded punters. It is important to note that even marketing affiliates, payment processors, auditors, and software providers must obtain a license from the NGO.
In 2023, the Romanian Senate introduced a draft bill to tighten the restrictions on gambling advertising. If the new bill comes into force, gambling commercials on TV will be banned from 6 am to 11 pm. Besides, gambling ads will be allowed during live sports broadcasts only when there is a player substitution or a score change.
Can Romanian sports fans bet through offshore betting sites?
Although all forms of online gambling are legal in Romania, the number of licensed betting sites is limited. Internet service providers were requested to block access to unauthorized online sportsbooks. However, sports fans from Romania can still choose from a decent range of offshore betting sites.
Are there any cases of Romanian punters being penalized for betting with an unlicensed betting site?
Romania’s gambling law states that punters who use the services of unlicensed betting sites will be prosecuted. But there are no cases of punters being penalized for betting through unlicensed betting sites thus far.
How do I claim a sports betting bonus?
Claiming a sports betting bonus is a worry-free process. If you have an account at an online sportsbook, you may be required to make a deposit or wager a specific amount to claim a sports betting bonus. You may also need to use a promo code to redeem a given promotion. But such information is clearly displayed in the bonus terms and conditions.
What currencies Romanian sports fans can use to fund their sports betting accounts?
The official currency of Romania is the Leu (RON). Only betting sites licensed by the NGO support this currency. Offshore sportsbooks provide Romanian sports fans with the opportunity to easily convert their currency to EUR. But keep in mind that a currency conversion fee will apply.
Is live betting legal in Romania?
Many countries allow only fixed-odds betting. Luckily, that is not the case in Romania. Romanian punters can place in-play bets without breaching the law. Actually, live betting is quite popular among Romanian punters. Romania has liberal gambling laws when it comes to the allowed forms of gambling.