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What is the state of play in the Romanian market?
In 2019, the Romanian gambling market generated a total revenue of €1.5 billion, representing an increase of 12.5% compared to the previous year. This growth was driven primarily by the online gambling sector, which accounted for nearly 25% of the total market share.
The Romanian gambling market is regulated by the National Gambling Office (ONJN), which oversees licensing and regulation of all forms of gambling in the country. In recent years, the ONJN has implemented stricter regulations for online gambling operators, including mandatory technical standards, responsible gambling measures, and increased taxation.
Despite these regulations, the Romanian gambling market continues to attract new players and operators. In 2020, several major international gambling companies received licenses to operate in Romania, including bet365, Betfair, and 888 Holdings. Additionally, the Romanian government has recently announced plans to further liberalize the gambling market, including plans to allow for the construction of large-scale casinos in certain areas.
It is worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Romanian gambling market, as it has in many other countries. During the pandemic, many land-based casinos and betting shops were forced to close, leading to a surge in online gambling activity. It remains to be seen how the pandemic will continue to impact the Romanian gambling market in the long term.
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The incorporation of this technology within the gaming space can offer a more immersive and interactive gambling experience. These new technologies can help to create a more engaging and enjoyable experience for players, which can lead to increased player loyalty and retention.
Overall, by offering a wide range of innovative and engaging games, operators can meet the needs and preferences of players, differentiate themselves from their competitors, and create a more sustainable and successful gambling market.
Why do you consider Romania to be such an important market?
Romania has a population of over 19 million people, making it one of the larger markets in Europe. This represents a significant potential customer base for gambling operators, both online and land-based.
The Romanian gambling market is relatively new and has been growing rapidly in recent years, which has attracted a lot of interest from international gambling companies. This growth is likely to continue as the Romanian economy continues to develop and the demand for gambling entertainment increases.
Romania has a relatively low tax rate on gambling activities, which makes it an attractive destination for operators looking to minimize their tax liabilities. This has helped to attract new operators to the market, which in turn has increased competition and driven further growth.
As a member of the European Union (EU) Romania benefits from EU regulations and protections. This provides a stable regulatory environment for operators and helps to ensure the safety and security of customers.
Do player preferences differ from other markets? What does localisation look like in Romania?
Player preferences in the Romanian gambling market may differ from other markets due to cultural and demographic differences. However, there are also many similarities between the Romanian market and other European markets in terms of player preferences.
In terms of localisation, many international gambling operators have adapted their products and services to meet the needs and preferences of Romanian players. This may involve translating their websites and games into Romanian, offering local payment methods, and providing customer support in Romanian. Some operators may also offer localized promotions and bonuses that are tailored specifically to the Romanian market.
Additionally, the ONJN has implemented strict regulations for online gambling operators that require them to offer games that are appropriate for Romanian players. This may include games that are popular in Romania, such as traditional card games like Baccarat or Rummy, as well as popular slot games.
While there may be some differences in player preferences in the Romanian market, many international gambling operators have adapted their products and services to meet the needs of local players, and the ONJN has implemented regulations to ensure that operators are offering appropriate games for the market. This localisation helps to ensure that the Romanian gambling market remains attractive and accessible to both local and international operators.
What is the competitive landscape like? Is there room for operators to enter and claim solid market share?
While there are some established operators in the market, there is still a significant amount of competition and opportunities for new entrants.
In the online gambling sector, there are a number of international operators that have entered the market, including major players such as Bet365, 888 Holdings, and PokerStars. Additionally, there are also several local operators that have been successful in the market, including Superbet, Fortuna, and Netbet.
In the land-based sector, there are a number of casinos and slot parlours operating in Romania, including the famous Casino Bucharest and Palace Casino.
The ONJN has implemented strict regulations for online gambling operators, including technical standards, responsible gambling measures, and increased taxation, which may present some challenges for new operators entering the market. However, these regulations also help to ensure the safety and security of customers and provide a level playing field for all operators.
Overall, the Romanian gambling market offers opportunities for new operators to enter and claim solid market share, particularly in the online gambling sector, which has seen significant growth in recent years. However, competition is strong and new entrants will need to offer attractive products and services to compete with established operators.
What are some of the challenges being faced? How can they be overcome?
There are several challenges facing the Romanian gambling market, including:
Increasing taxes: The Romanian government has increased taxes on gambling activities, which has put pressure on operators’ margins and profitability.
Stringent regulations: The ONJN has implemented strict regulations for online gambling operators, which may make it more difficult for new operators to enter the market and compete with established operators.
Competition: The Romanian gambling market is becoming increasingly competitive, with many established operators and new entrants vying for market share.
Problem gambling: As with any gambling market, there is a risk of problem gambling, which can have negative social and economic consequences.
To overcome these challenges, operators and regulators can take several steps, including:
Collaboration and advocacy: Operators can work together and with industry associations to advocate for more favourable tax and regulatory policies.
Innovation: Operators can differentiate themselves by offering innovative products and services that meet the changing needs and preferences of players.
Customer protection: Operators can invest in responsible gambling measures, such as self-exclusion tools, to help protect vulnerable players.
Localisation: Operators can adapt their products and services to meet the needs and preferences of local players, which can help to build brand loyalty and increase market share.
Education: Operators and regulators can work together to educate players about the risks associated with gambling and promote responsible gambling behaviours.
Overall, by working together, operators and regulators can help to create a sustainable and successful gambling market in Romania that balances the needs of operators, players, and society as a whole.