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The Romanian Senate has adopted a draft law which would bring about strict limits on where and how gambling operators can advertise in the country.

The law has now been submitted to Romania’s Chamber of Deputies, the decisional chamber of the country’s parliament, where it may be approved and passed into law, rejected, or amended and passed back to the Senate for further discussion.

A draft law on the matter was first initiated in late 2022, but originally included a blanket ban on all forms of gambling advertising in any medium with a view to protecting young and vulnerable people.

After debate in the Senate, however, senators amended the bill to remove the blanket ban, after considering that it would too heavily impact tax revenues coming from the gambling sector.

Instead, the new bill proposes several strict limitations on how, where and when operators may advertise.

Advertisements in public spaces such as billboards, for example, may not exceed 30 square metres in size and must not promote prizes consisting of cash or goods.

On television, no gambling advertising will be permitted overnight between the hours of 11pm and 6am.

Within the allowed window for gambling ads, from 6am to 11pm each day, ads may only be displayed during live sports broadcasts.

Even then, ads may only be played when there is a player substitution or a score change, and must be accompanied by the message “play responsibly”.

The duration of individual ads during sports broadcasts may not exceed 10 seconds, while all ads shown during a single broadcast may not exceed two minutes in aggregate.

In addition, public figures including celebrities and sports personalities may not be used in gambling marketing. 

A similar recommendation is already in place in the local regulator, the Romanian National Office for Gambling’s (RNOG) code of conduct, but at present is only a soft recommendation rather than a law.

If the law is approved by the Chamber of Deputies, the RNOG will be tasked with overseeing its implementation.

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