Two high-profile gaming operators have been granted permanent approval to continue to operate in the regulated Romanian iGaming market, with Amaya’s Rational Group and GVC Holdings now fully licensed by the country’s National Gambling Office (ONJN).

Each company’s new licence comes into effect from September 1st, with the pair having operated under an interim licence since September 2015.

This will see Rational Group roll out variants of its poker-focused PokerStars and sports betting brand BetStars.

“We are very happy to offer the world’s leading poker and sports betting brands to Romanians under a local regulatory framework,” Amaya vice president of corporate communications Eric Hollreiser said of Rational securing a licence.

“This demonstrates Amaya’s commitment to the responsible growth of online gaming by supporting local regulation that is good for players, good for operators, and provides revenue for regulators.”

As a result of the licence approval, Amaya will introduce new responsible gambling controls, and only work with suppliers licensed in the country. This will also see the Full Tilt brand removed from Romania, with players migrated to the site.

GVC, meanwhile, has secured sports betting and casino licences for its Headlong Limited subsidiary, as well as a Class 2 licence to provide this business with software, affiliate marketing and hosting services.

Headlong has been operating under the Sportingbet brand since September last year.

“We are delighted to have been awarded a permanent licence in Romania,” GVC CEO Kenny Alexander said. “It is an attractive and growing market where the Sportingbet brand is increasingly popular. We are focused on developing our product line there in order to attract new customers and grow our business.”

Shares in Amaya Inc (Co. Data) (TOR:AYA) closed at CAD$20.19 per share in Toronto Thursday, while shares in GVC Holdings plc (Co. Data) (LSE:GVC) were trading at 703.00 pence in London earlier Friday.


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