The Romanian Senate adopted a draft law (the "Draft Law”) that tightens rules governing publicity for gambling.

Specifically, the Draft Law, which has been submitted to the Chamber of Deputies, the decisional Chamber of the Parliament, sets down stricter rules to protect minors, young people and individuals in other vulnerable categories.

Initiated in late 2022, the Draft Law initially included a blanket prohibition on all forms of publicity for gambling in any medium (e.g. outdoor, online, television, etc.). After some debate, the Senators eliminated this provision on the grounds that such a blanket prohibition would adversely impact budgetary revenues derived from the collection of taxes and levies from gambling operators and third parties providing services to the industry.

In the form adopted by the Senate, the Draft Law contains the following restrictions:

  • outdoor/street advertisements for gambling cannot exceed 30 square metres, and they cannot promote prizes consisting of cash or goods;
  • no advertising for gambling on television between 23:00 and 6:00;
  • within the permitted interval (06.00 – 23.00), advertising for gambling may be permitted only during live transmission of sporting events (and only when there is a player substitution or a score change), provided that the insert is accompanied by the message “Play responsibly” and that the duration of an individual insert does not exceed ten seconds and in aggregate a maximum of two minutes during the relevant sporting event;
  • public, cultural, scientific or sporting personalities or other individuals – who due to their celebrity/reputation can encourage participation in gambling – are not permitted to promote or advertise gambling (a similar recommendation is included in the Code of Conduct issued by the Romanian National Office for Gambling, but since these are only soft law recommendations to the industry, they are rarely observed in practice).

If adopted by the Chamber of Deputies, the Draft Law will require gambling operators and media outlets to adopt a more socially responsible approach to gambling advertising. The National Office for Gambling will be tasked with identifying deviations from the new rules and enforcing sanctions for any breach.