Almost Impossible To Open Gambling Bank Account In Romania, Says Trade Group

July 26, 2023
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It has become “almost impossible” for gambling companies to open a bank account in Romania, according to a trade group in the country.

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It has become “almost impossible” for gambling companies to open a bank account in Romania, according to a trade group in the country.

Dan Iliovici, senior vice president of the industry group Rombet, explained there has been no official reason cited by banks in Romania for reportedly refusing to open accounts for gambling firms.

Banca Nationala a Romaniei, the Romanian national bank, has reportedly denied it has an explicit policy against gambling companies.

“It is unbelievable what is going on. There is no regulation, instruction, or something similar that might block the banks from doing business with gambling operators. There is no written agreement, there is nothing. Banks act like a secret society,” Iliovici told VIXIO GamblingCompliance.

Currently, many banks refuse to open new accounts for gambling businesses, providing no written answer for the rejection, just a phone call “politely declining them”, Iliovici alleged.

Rombet fears this “might push players, and even operators, to the black market”.

Some gambling businesses that have existing accounts have also received terminations with short notice periods of around 30 to 50 days, according to Iliovici.

Cosmina Simion, managing partner of the law firm Simion & Baciu, the issue is a “sore spot” for the industry, but noted it has been going on for a few years now.

“While I am aware of companies that faced the closure of accounts, eventually they managed to open new accounts with other banks. Indeed there are banks that are completely closed to the industry, while there are just a few who, while extremely rigorous in their compliance process, do open bank accounts still,” Simion said.

Proof that operators can still enter the market is the fact that the lawyer said she has seen a new operator approved as recently as July 1, 2023.

“From the B2C clients we represent continuously since the opening of the online market back in 2015, none of them had their accounts closed, despite the fact that in some cases the banks they work with have not opened new accounts for new operators since,” Simion said.

VIXIO has requested comment from the Banca Nationala a Romaniei on this issue.

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