Romania cancels gambling licenses

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In a surprising move, Romania’s gambling regulator, Oficiul National Pentru Jocuri de Noroc (ONJN), has temporarily suspended gambling licenses of two operators. Online gambling operator, Sea-Bet Limited, and fixed-odds betting licensee, Bet Club Sistem SRL, are the companies whose licenses were suspended. The reason for the license cancellation is not known.

Sea-Bet, which is based in Malta, operates online in Romania under the domain and controls a network of retail betting operations in Romania under the Publicwin brand.

The suspensions were issued on September 18, but did not take effect until Wednesday. Neither of the ONJN’s official notices offers reasons for the suspensions.

Sea-Bet received its Romanian online license in August 2017, and while its fixed-odds betting license was valid for 10 years; its online casino license appears to have expired at the end of July.

Publicwin has been ordered not to sign up any new customers or accept any new wagers from existing customers. Withdrawal requests by existing customers are to be honoured, and any winnings based on pending wagers must be paid out following the events’ conclusion.

Despite these restrictions, the ONJN notice said that the slot machines in Publicwin’s retail betting shops can continue to operate, pending further notice from the regulator. currently displays a message saying its suspension is to last 30 days. The message also states that the ONJN suspension “does not reflect a real situation regarding Publicwin’s activity,” and that the relevant courts “will find, as with the sanctions imposed on other market operators, [Publicwin] complies with legal provisions, and the action of the [ONJN] is deeply unlawful.”