Romania has announced a ban on gambling venues

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Romania has announced a ban on gambling venues

Romania has implemented a ban on gambling establishments in small towns and villages with populations of fewer than 15,000 residents.

This legislation, often referred to as the “slot machine law,” was approved by deputies in the lower house of parliament. Alfred Simonis, leader of the Social Democrats, described it as the first law passed in Parliament in 30 years aimed at combating the influence of organized crime that has historically influenced politics in the country.

Industry figures have expressed frustration over not being consulted and are hopeful that the authorities will fulfill their promise to crack down on the black market.

Alfred Simonis, Leader of Social Democrat (PSD) deputies, said:

It is the first law adopted in Parliament in 30 years against this mafia that has controlled the political world until now.

Despite the unanimous vote, there was internal dissent within the chamber. Two opposition parties pushing for a total ban on gambling have criticized the government, accusing it of colluding with the gaming sector by not taking a stronger stance.

Over the past few decades, gambling venues have proliferated throughout Romania. The National Gaming Office, responsible for overseeing the sector, has approved and monitored around 12,000 sports betting, bingo, casino, and lottery rooms.

The state generates revenue from gambling venue licenses, online ticket sales, and advertising expenditures by betting establishments.

Recent data on gambling addiction in Romania is lacking, with the most recent survey conducted in 2016 estimating around 100,000 individuals affected by gambling addiction nationwide. However, it is believed that the current number of addicted individuals could be significantly higher.

Disturbingly, research by Save the Children indicates that one in seven Romanian children spends money on gambling, and one in ten resides in families where at least one parent engages in gambling activities.