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Romania Implements New Law Banning Slots Machines in Smaller Towns



Romania Introduces Stringent Gambling Regulations, Impacting Rural Towns

In a groundbreaking move, Romania’s gambling landscape faces substantial reform with the introduction of “Legea Păcănelelor” (The Pannel Law). Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, heralding from the PSD-&-PNL coalition government, has successfully led the charge to implement a ban on gambling establishments in towns with less than 15,000 inhabitants. This decision marks a pivotal shift in Romania’s approach to gambling, aiming to curb the spread of gambling in rural areas.

A Bold Legislative Move

The Legislative Process and Impact

The Chamber of Deputies’ overwhelming approval of the executive order initiated by PM Ciolacu signifies a critical step towards regulating the gambling industry more strictly. By securing 243 votes in favor, the legislation promises to eradicate gambling locales from the vast majority of Romania’s rural communities. This law targets not only gambling venues but also gaming machines housed within retail and leisure spaces in smaller towns, affecting the operations of Romania’s 27 licensed betting office operators, including industry giants like SuperBet and Casa Pariurilor.

No Compensation for Local Merchants


A notable aspect of this legislation is the absence of compensatory measures for local merchants affected by the ban. With the law set to become effective just 10 days after its enactment, the urgency and determination of the Romanian government to clamp down on rural gambling are clear.

Controversy and Enforcement

Leadership Changes at ONJN

The reform extends beyond the gambling ban, as controversy surrounds the recent appointment of Cristian-Gabriel Pascu as the VP of the National Gambling Office (ONJN). Pascu, a novice councillor with no prior experience in gambling or government, steps into a crucial role at a time when the Ministry of Finance intensifies its efforts to enforce stricter tax collections from gambling licenses in 2024.

Prime Minister’s Firm Stance


PM Ciolacu’s endorsement of stringent measures against gambling operators underscores a commitment to prioritizing the welfare of the populace over fiscal gains from the gambling industry. His bold statement, “I am not afraid of anyone and I will go to the end on this matter,” resonates as a powerful declaration of intent to regulate the gambling sector more effectively.

Looking Ahead: A New Era for Gambling in Romania

Implications for the Gambling Industry

This legislative overhaul presents both challenges and opportunities for Romania’s gambling industry. Operators must navigate the new regulatory landscape, potentially driving innovation in online and urban gambling spaces. Furthermore, the focus on stricter enforcement and increased taxation underscores the government’s resolve to maintain a tight rein on the industry’s growth.

Protecting the Community


At its core, the introduction of “Legea Păcănelelor” reflects a profound concern for the social impact of gambling on smaller communities. By restricting access to gambling in rural towns, the Romanian government aims to mitigate the adverse effects of gambling addiction and ensure a healthier societal landscape.

Conclusion: Shaping the Future of Gambling in Romania

The enactment of “Legea Păcănelelor” represents a significant turning point in Romania’s gambling regulations, with far-reaching implications for both operators and communities. As the country embarks on this new regulatory path, the commitment to safeguarding the welfare of its citizens stands as a testament to the government’s dedication to responsible governance. With an eye on the future, Romania sets a precedent for managing the gambling industry with a balanced approach that values both economic contributions and social well-being.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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