Celebrity hairstylist named vice president of Romanian gambling regulator

Romania tightened gambling regulations last year.
Romania tightened gambling regulations last year.

Cristian-Gabriel Pascu’s appointment has attracted controversy.

Romania.- The Ministry of Finance of Romania has appointed Cristian-Gabriel Pascu as vice-president of the National Gambling Office (ONJN). The appointment has caused controversy in the gambling sector and in national media because Pascu is known as a celebrity hairstylist and the owner of a beauty salon.

Pascu will be responsible for overseeing supervisory rulings and enforcement actions. However, some have questioned Pascu’s lack of experience in the gambling sector, as well as in politics. He became a local councillor for the National Liberal Party (PNL) in 2021. There have been suggestions that the appointment shows favours for friends among President Marcel Ciolacu‘s coalition government with the Social Democratic Party.

Pascu defended his appointment, arguing that while he had no experience in the field of gambling, he had experience as a successful entrepreneur. He told media: “I have managed many companies in various sectors. I earned a law degree and have diverse business experiences. In all of my undertakings, I strive to perform to the best of my abilities.

In October, the Romanian parliament approved emergency ordinances on gambling regulations presented by the Ministry of Finance. They included a sharp rise in licence fees for all verticals plus new rules on advertising.

Licensees are now required to have a domicile in Romania and will have to submit tax contributions to the ONJN, within five working days of the month following collection. There is a ban on unsolicited online gambling adverts, on the promotion of incentives such as bonuses and promotions and on the sale of alcohol in non-casino land-based gambling venues. 

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