Firms in the Spotlight TMT: gambling law

Simion & Baciu Law Firm

Simion & Baciu Law Firm logo

A partnership formed by Cosmina Simion and Ana-Maria Baciu, Simion & Baciu strives to provide excellency in various areas of law and regulated industries with a particular focus on media and entertainment, retail, FMCG, automotive, technology and life science sectors.

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TMT: gambling law in Romania

Simion & Baciu Law Firm

Simion & Baciu Law Firm is a boutique firm that has quickly established itself as Romania’s premier destination for clients in the gambling industry. The firm covers clients from all corners of the market, from advice to online betting exchanges and casinos through to land-based operators and industry service providers. The growing practice is more than capable of handling major corporate mandates, as its advice to Novalpina Capital on its Maxbet acquisition demonstrates. It regularly deals with the regulators and relevant public authorities and is well versed in all areas of licensing, compliance and enforcement. Founding partners Cosmina Simion and Ana-Maria Baciu  are ‘are unquestionably the ‘go to’ lawyers when it comes to Romanian gambling law and regulation’. Clients also rate associate Andrei Cosma, whose ‘knowledge in technical compliance is outstanding‘.

Practice head(s):

Cosmina Maria Simion; Ana-Maria Baciu

Other key lawyers:

Andrei Cosma

Testimonials

‘What makes this practice unique is that the partners understand the realities of working within a business, making them practical and business-friendly. In the event that some legal requirements are difficult to meet due to the nature of the specific operation, they go the extra mile to assist and come up with a workable alternative solution.’

‘Both Ana Maria and Cosmina are extremely professional. I really enjoy working them due to their attitude, experience and know-how in the gambling space.’

 ‘They’ve provided us effective advice on the Romanian gambling sector and how it impacts payments processing.’

‘Our team worked with Cosmina Simion (partner) and Andrei Cosma (associate). They provided us effective advice regarding Romanian regulatory law.’

 ‘Ana Maria Baciu is exceptionally proactive and a really experienced gaming lawyer.’

‘Without a shadow of doubt, the go to team when it comes to gambling, IP & TMT in Romania. Ana-Maria Baciu is simply phenomenal.’

‘Small team with strong sense of ownership of their work and client’s problems.  Cosmina’s depth of the understanding of the gambling industry in Romania and its legal framework is unrivalled. Good ability to turn client’s problems into practical solutions.’

‘The team is very proactive- this is very important for a gambling law practice, because there are constant moving pieces, changes being discussed and Simion & Baciu is always ahead by providing you with information about any potential changes and keeping you up to date. The team is also very clear, descriptive and quick in the responses they give. Any priority issues/topics are always being dealt with as soon as possible.’

‘Cosmina Simion – A professional with a great capacity of providing ‘ the bigger picture’ within the industry and assessments on the next best steps. Andrei Cosma – His knowledge in technical compliance is outstanding and he is one of the professionals with the highest degree of understanding (and capacity to explain to others) the specific technical functionalities of a gambling infrastructure.’

‘Very professional and conversant in local gaming law.’

‘Law firm Simion & Baciu showed high level of expertise in the area of the gambling law. Their expertise in the area of gambling law outstands similar firms. Even from the initial contact we were able to recognize their quality and law expertise.’

‘The team has shown good expertise and knowledge in the gambling licensing sector. The communication was strict and accurate. The results matched the pre-assignment forecasts in terms of duration and success. We haven’t worked with competitors, yet the gambling is a quite specific sector where no much qualified and experienced lawyers are available. Therefore, we highly appreciate what we got as experience in our work with Andrei Cosma and Teodora Popescu.’

‘Very responsive, good on fees and deep sector expertise from a gambling law perspective.’

‘Cosmina Simion and Ana-Maria Baciu. As managing and founding partners they are unquestionably the ‘go to’ lawyers when it comes to Romanian gambling law and regulation. They have experience that other firms in Romania simply do not and they have an excellent understanding of international and UK clients and how they want their legal advice delivered. The strength of their practice is reflected in the fact they took the leap from NNDKP to set up their own firm and they will no doubt be reaping the rewards from that.’

Key clients

Flutter Entertainment/Betfair

888

GVC Group/Entain

Maxbet

Novalpina Capital

Playtech

Microgaming

Catena Media

Worldpay

NetEnt

SBTech

eCogra

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG)

Tom Horn Gaming

Endorphina

Optival

Leap Gaming

Checkout

Push Gaming

Nolimit City

Delasport

Vivo Gaming

Anakatech

LV Bet

E-Card

Work highlights

  • Advised 888 in relation to all legal and regulatory aspects related to the gambling operations on the Romanian market, including AML, tax, consumer protection or privacy matters
  • Successfully advised Novalpina Capital in the acquisition of Maxbet, the leading land-based gambling operator in Romania, as well as the online Maxbet presence in Malta, a transaction estimated to be the largest by value on the entire Romanian market in the last year
  • Advised Betfair, part of the world largest online gambling group (Flutter Entertainment) in a variety of legal and regulatory issues, including AML, tax or advertising matters as well as in relation with the legal measures adopted in Romania due to COVID-19

DLA Piper Dinu SCA

DLA Piper Dinu SCA provides a strong commercial, regulatory and litigation service to a broad roster of clients from the gambling industry. This includes support on licensing requirements, contractual negotiations and tax-related matters. The contentious arm of the practice has also been involved in several high profile disputes, and obtained favourable decisions in the past year for bet365 following a long-running series of court cases. Litigation and regulatory partner Radu Balas  leads the well regarded multidisciplinary team. Managing associate Daniela Călin is also highly experienced in issues affecting the gambling sector.

Practice head(s):

Radu Bălaș

Other key lawyers:

Daniela Călin

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, and ongoing advice regarding day-to-day activities.
  • Acted for Inspired Gaming group with respect to obtaining a class II gambling license in Romania for Inspired Gaming (UK) Limited.
  • Successfully managing for the past three years a large scale project involving assistance before the National Office for Gambling and representation in courts of law for over 270 customers of bet365 in more than 230 court files registered all over Romania.

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen has been a prominent counsel to several leading companies operating in the Romanian gambling sector. This includes advice to online and offline gambling companies, as well as B2B service providers. Services range from licensing applications through to regulatory and compliance support, as well as broader issues such as IP, employment, data protection and tax. The practice is praised for its ‘exceptional‘ knowledge and dedication. Senior associate Alina Tace leads the well regarded team.

Practice head(s):

Alina Tace

Other key lawyers:

Gabriela Cacerea; Ruxandra Bologa

Testimonials

‘The team is always aimed at achieving the goals set by the customer. Even when the there are multiple team members involved – communication is done in a timely and professional manner without any delays in response and deliverables.’

‘Each engagement team member has been highly qualified; has always provided professional advice with high quality and in a timely manner.’

‘The know-how and the dedication of reaching the goal are exceptional.’

‘The know-how and the dedication shown are great.’

 

Key clients

iSource AB

Blue Ribbon Software Malta Limited

SPRIBE OU

Credorax Bank Limited

AMS MONERTO DIGITAL SRL

Thunderkick Malta Limited

OMNICUS LIMITED

Bet Invest Limited

BetConstruct/Soft Construct

Blueprint Technologies (Malta) Limited

Poppleston Allen

Stakelogic Romania Limited

ELKAB STUDIOS AB

Bee-Fee Limited

Wazdan Ltd

RSM Malta

Work highlights

  • Successfully assisted iSource AB/Delphi in obtaining a B2B license from the Romanian National Gambling Office for marketing affiliate services in the gambling field.
  • Successfully assisted SPRIBE OU in obtaining from the Malta Gaming Authority a Recognition Notice on the basis of its Romanian Class 2 license obtained from the Romanian National Gambling Office.
  • Successfully advised Thunderkick Malta Limited in entering the Romanian market by obtaining a B2B license for production and/or distribution of specialized software in the gambling field.

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii advises several major online and offline gaming and betting companies. Service companies also feature prominently on the firm’s client list, including software operators, payment processors and other suppliers to the gambling industry. The full service practice is experienced in the licensing process, as well as regulatory compliance issues, and broader corporate and commercial matters. Bogdan Stoica is the main partner contact.

Practice head(s):

Bogdan Stoica

Key clients

Intergames

Extremoo Group

Owners of Extremoo Group

Stargames Corporation Australia

Work highlights

  • Advising Intergames on all regulatory, corporate and commercial matters in the context of the COVID pandemic with a particular focus on real estate.
  • Advising Extremoo Group on the full range of commercial and regulatory matters including the multimillion acquisition of a minority stake from one of the founders.
  • Advised Stargames Corporation on the establishment of a local branch for the sale of electronic slot machines on the Romanian and European markets.

Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii

Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii advises a wide range of gambling operators on their online and offline presence in Romania. Other major clients include leading software development companies, service providers and payment processors. All regularly use the firm for licensing, compliance (including anti-money laundering) and regulatory issues, as well as broader day-to-day matters such as IP, tax, data protection and employment. Recently promoted corporate partner Horia Ispas  heads the ‘incredibly knowledgeable‘ team, which also includes the highly experienced managing associate Sergiu Cretu who is commended for showing ‘real pragmatism and was always looking for ways to resolve any problems identified‘.

Practice head(s):

Horia Ispas

Other key lawyers:

Sergiu Cretu

Testimonials

‘The team is incredibly knowledgeable in their field and all members of the team are responsive to queries.’

‘The responsiveness has been very welcome. Sergiu Cretu in particular showed real pragmatism and was always looking for ways to resolve any problems identified.’

Key clients

TSG Interactive Plc (PokerStars)

TSG Platforms Ltd (main game platform provider for PokerStars gambling games)

Amelco UK

Apco Systems

Bet Zone, the local subsidiary of Fortuna Game

Fortuna Romania

Bet Active Concept

Kambi Malta

Pariplay Malta

Realistic Games Limited

Design Works Gaming

Rexus International

Work highlights

  • Advising PokerStars on a wide range of compliance/regulatory issues specific to online gambling in Romania.
  • Assistance to Fortuna Romania on all gambling issues regarding Romania’s online and offline market.
  • Legal assistance to Pariplay Malta Limited on all regulatory related to Romanian B2B gambling suppliers.