The gambling industry testing agency, eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) has announced that it has been awarded Class II licenses by the Romanian gambling regulator. The Oficiul National pentru Jocuri de Noroc (ONJN) awarded eCOGRA the licenses for the purpose of certification and auditing activities. eCOGRA is one of only three testing agencies to secure such licenses in Romania’s emerging online gambling industry. The association proved its competence by satisfying the tough requirements laid out by the ONJN in terms of experience, management, financial standing and capacity. Romania’s authorities collaborated with other European regulatory bodies that have a successful track record in order to create their own online gambling regulations. The laws have, first and foremost, been designed to protect consumers and work along with a strong enforcement team whose objective it is to stop illegal online casino operators from targeting Romanian players and entering the market. The chief executive officer of eCOGRA, Andrew Beveridge said that the group was committed to supporting its consumers and clients in areas where it operates. Operators and software providers had shown strong interest in Romania’s regulatory compliance requirements. “Although the effort to fulfil the ONJN’s requirements for Certifier and Auditor approval was significant, we were comfortably able to achieve this based on our independence, financial standing and the depth and experience of our professional staff,” said Beveridge, adding that eCOGRA’s team was looking forward to working with both new and existing clients, as well as the Romanian regulator in what he termed a “new and exciting licensing jurisdiction.” A number of top operators have shown a keen interest in getting into the Romanian online gambling market, including the Swedish gaming group, NetEnt. Last month, NetEnt announced that it had secured class two licenses from the country’s gambling authority, which cover the production and distribution of specialized gaming software in Romania. In addition, NetEnt may manage and host online gaming facilities with its new licenses. In a statement issued by NetEnt, the group said that for several years it had been investing in technology and expertise to adapt the company to regulated markets such as Romania, and it holds licenses and certifications in a number of European markets. According to NetEnt, these licenses form part of its strategy to expand into regulated markets around the world. New gambling legislation was passed by the Romania Parliament in 2015, introducing sweeping reforms to existing laws and opening up the national market it make it more appealing to international operators. The laws were also passed to meet the requests made by the European Commission in 2013. Operators are allowed to accept players from Romania as long as they are based in any EU country, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland. This is a move from previous restrictions where operators had to be legally established in Romania. Operators can apply for a new state issued license, and receive it after they prove that they meet the licensing requirements.