TMT: gambling law in Romania

Simion & Baciu Law Firm

Simion & Baciu Law Firm is a boutique with a superb market reputation for representing clients from across the gambling industry. The firm is noted for its ability to work closely with the regulators, and has an excellent track record in obtaining licenses and authorisations for major online and land-based gambling companies, as well as key suppliers. In addition to the compliance side, the firm also provides strong support on related commercial, IP and IT issues. Managing partners Ana-Maria Baciu and Cosmina Simion have excellent names in the market. Senior associate Andrei Cosma is also singled out for high praise by clients.

Practice head(s):

Cosmina Simion; Ana-Maria Baciu

Other key lawyers:

Andrei Cosma

Testimonials

‘Simion & Baciu provide advice with a uniquely high level of knowledge in the gaming sector, high responsiveness rate and great attention to detail. Their advice is highly practical and they pro-actively offer solutions to complex problems. I believe their level of knowledge and experience in the global Gaming sector and its common practice is above any other firms in Romania. ’

‘Very experienced team in the field of gambling. All the time updated with the newest changes. They are working with different types of operators and have experience in both land based and online operations.’

‘This firm provides expert advice not only from the legal and regulatory perspective, but also from a business and practical approach. Furthermore, both Ana Maria Baciu and Cosmina Simion are undisputed experts in their subject areas.’

‘They go out of their way to ensure that the advice given is satisfactory and also follow up on all matters to safeguard your business and operations. Furthermore, as already stated, the partners are subject matter experts and usually have answers ready for you straightaway, given their exposure to the industries they advise. Furthermore, their billing is fair and not excessive, making them a true asset to the company.’

‘Deep local industry knowledge and understanding, coupled with a very personal level of engagement. ’

‘By far the most valuable trait is the team’s personal level of understanding, passion, pragmatism and engagement. ’

‘Simion & Baciu’s close relationship with the National Gambling Office, and thorough understanding of the legal requirements relating to online gambling testing and certification, has ensured that our business has been able to comfortably meet the relevant legal requirements for us to be authorised to conduct our activities in Romania.’

Another impressive quality of this firm is the response time. We deal with over a dozen law firms in various European jurisdictions, and none of these match the response times displayed by Simion & Baciu.’

‘Cosmina Simion is an extremely pleasant person to deal with, responds almost immediately to emails, and proactively finds solutions to problems. Billing always appears reasonable, and good value.’

‘Ana Maria Baciu – she is very knowledgeable on the subject, well connected and aware of how to balance business needs with legal realities. ’

‘Andrei Cosma provided services and communication on the highest level. Comparing to the competition, this law firm provided solution based on situation with a high level of response. ’

‘Their knowledge on the subject is second to none as well as their access to information. Furthermore they are very good communicators and their availability can be said to be 24/7. ’

‘Ana-Maria Baciu and Cosmina Simion are the go to gambling and IT lawyers in Romania. Both very experienced, success driven and extremely knowledgeable. The associate in their team that stands out is Andrei Cosma. ’

‘Proactive team. They constantly researching the industries and the law in an effort to constantly change and adapt to new developments and technologies, and make all efforts to be practical and realistic. ’

‘Simion & Baciu is a small team which delivers a personal service. We enjoy a wonderful relationship which is built on trust.’

‘Andrei Cosma and Cosmina Simion are super professional, attentive to the client needs and committed to find suitable solutions. They always respond in timely fashion and provide their advice clearly and pro-actively. ’

Key clients

Flutter Entertainment/Betfair

GVC Group/Sportingbet

Maxbet

Playtech

Microgaming

Catena Media

Worldpay

NetEnt

SBTech

eCogra

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG)

Tom Horn Gaming

Endorphina

Betixon

Growth Leads

MOHIO

Kajot

Playson

Gameiom Technologies (AGS Group)

Clovio

Conzap

Livescore (Gamesys Group)

Natural Intelligence

Safecharge

Work highlights

  • Advised Betfair, in a variety of legal and regulatory issues, including AML, tax and advertising matters as well as on legal measures adopted in Romania due to COVID-19.
  • Advised Playtech with respect to reporting requirements, technical architectures, new gambling features as well as its successful application for a new supplier license in Romania.
  • Advised Maxbet on the Romanian legal aspects for the Maltese recognition notice procedure of its Romanian online license.

Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii

Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii's Dragos Apostol as part of a broader practice covers a range of disciplines, including regulatory, IP, tax, litigation, employment and commercial law in both the online and offline gambling markets. Cristian Radu, previously head of the practice, departed to become general counsel at Superbet.

Practice head(s):

Dragos Apostol

Testimonials

‘Very easy to work with, helpful, responsive and provide a very good service.’

‘Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii is the law firm you want to have by your side when you are cutting your way through the gambling industry which, let’s face it, can sometimes be ambiguous and uncertain when it comes to legislative framework and operational do’s and don’ts. Highly experienced and knowledgeable, thorough, efficient and reliable comes to mind when one is talking about their gambling team. They are our first option when asked to recommend a super strong and experienced legal team to tackle the legal side (and not only) of the retail or online gambling operations one considers. ’

Key clients

Amaya Gaming Inc. (PokerStars and Full Tilt)

Amelco UK Ltd.

Apco Pay

Bet Zone, the local subsidiary of Fortuna Game a.s.

Fortuna Romania

Gaming Consulting

Global Collect Services (Ingenico)

Kambi Sports Solutions

Penta Investments

Sparkware Technologies

United Media

Pari Play

Match Group

Evolution Group

Superbet

Realistic Gaming

DraftKings Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising PokerStars on a wide range of compliance/regulatory issues specific to the performance of online gambling in Romania.
  • Assistance to Fortuna Romania on all gambling issues regarding the Romanian online and offline market.
  • Advising Superbet on a wide range of matters, including software licenses and marketing contracts, regulatory matters, AMLD and GDPR matters.

DLA Piper Dinu SCA

DLA Piper Dinu SCA has a multi-faceted gambling practice that handles a strong mix of regulatory and litigation work. The firm has been involved in several disputes before the authorities and the courts, particularly with regard to retrospective taxes. In addition, the team regularly advises on licence renewals and authorisations, as well as broader commercial and day-to-day issues. litigation and regulatory partner Radu Bălaș leads the team, which represents several leading international gambling companies, including Hillside, the owner of bet365. Managing associate Daniela Călin is a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Radu Bălaș

Other key lawyers:

Daniela Călin

Testimonials

‘DLA Romania are  trusted and knowledgeable support for our Romanian facing business. Members of the team are very well connected and have an extensive pool of resource they can draw from and as such are invaluable to us. As an English speaking business we receive exceptional support in face to face client meetings and contract negotiations. ’

‘We operate in a fast paced market and, as such, often require immediate assistance or consultations at short notice. We receive that support from our partnership with DLA. Through Vadim Chirac and Daniela Calin, who tenaciously act on our behalf, we have received invaluable assistance which allows us to mitigate a changing landscape in terms of business and economic factors.’

Key clients

Hillside (Sports) Limited

Hillside (Gaming) Limited (bet365 group)

WHG (International) Limited (William Hill group)

Scientific Games group

Genius Sports group

Inspired Gaming group

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Genius Sports group with obtaining two class II gambling licences in Romania in 2019, plus ongoing advice regarding day-to-day activities.
  • Assisted Inspired Gaming group in obtaining a class II gambling license in Romania for Inspired Gaming (UK) Limited.
  • Advising bet365 before the National Office for Gambling, and representation in courts of law concerning over 270 customers in more than 230 court files registered all over Romania.

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen acts for a selection of online and offline gambling companies. The firm offers the full spectrum of advice, with day-to-day activities including licensing and authorisation renewals, IP, corporate, employment and tax related issues. Senior associate Alina Tace leads the practice, and the cross-practice group is also strong on related tax matters, where Lucian Barbu is especially focused.

Practice head(s):

Alina Tace (formerly Dumitru)

Other key lawyers:

Lucian Barbu

Key clients

Favbet Gaming SRL

Favbet Online SRL

Bet Invest Limited

Blue Ribbon Software Malta Limited

SPRIBE OU

Stakelogic Malta Limited

Credorax Bank Limited

AMS MONERTO DIGITAL SRL

OMNICUS LIMITED

ELKAB STUDIOS AB

Bee-Fee Limited

Thunderkick Malta Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Credorax Bank Limited with obtaining from the Romanian National Gambling Office a B2B license in Romania for gambling payment processing services.
  • Assisted AMS Monerto Digital with obtaining a B2B license in Romania for gambling marketing affiliate services.
  • Assisted SPRIBE OU, a casino games creator, with obtaining a B2B license from the Romanian National Gambling Office to distribute specialized gambling software.

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii is popular with several leading companies operating in and servicing the online and offline gambling industry. The firm's broad reach ensures a full service offering that goes beyond regulatory compliance and licensing approvals. Corporate, M&A, real estate, employment, tax and IP have all featured heavily on the agenda in the past year, as has guidance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Bogdan Stoica leads the well-regarded team, which includes highly-rated associate Claudia Salomia.

Practice head(s):

Bogdan Stoica

Other key lawyers:

Claudia Salomia

Testimonials

‘We have worked with PNSA team for some years now and, given that in Romania the legal specialists in gambling industry are not so many, we could say that they are among the best legal teams on the market.’

‘First of all, they do understand our business and this is really important as gambling is so much different from a lot of other industries. Secondly, they are dedicated and problem solving lawyers, always imaginative and, in the same time, very precise as regards their advise. Compared to other lawyers we have worked with, they are also very efficient cost wise.’

‘Bogdan Stoica is the key person in PNSA on the gambling industry, no matter whether we are talking about affiliates business or pure gambling. He has an in-depth knowledge, not only on the local legal framework on gambling industry but also in other jurisdictions. He is accompanied by Claudia Salomia who is very good young lawyer.’  

Key clients

Intergames

Extremoo Group

Owners of Extremoo Group

Stargames Corporation Australia

Work highlights

  • Advising Intergames on all regulatory, corporate and commercial matters affected by the COVID pandemic with a particular focus on the HR and real estate, including negotiating with the landlords during the state of emergency declared by the authorities.
  • Advising Extremoo Group on the restructuring of its services centres, and on all commercial arrangements with online casinos, and related licensing, regulatory, corporate, IP and real estate issues.
  • Advised Stargames Corporation on the establishment and operation of a local branch, and the import, licensing and sales of electronic slot machines on the Romanian and European market.