The gaming industry in Romania is performing strongly with the country placed 47th in the global revenue rankings this year. This is a reflection of how the gaming industry has been surging since 2014 when turnover from the industry was USD 114.7 million (RON 483.70 million). This year it was reported that the industry reached USD 195 million (RON 821 million).
Continued Growth for the Gaming Industry
One reason for this growth has been the increase of access to the internet in the country. The National Statistics Institute reports that 2 out of every 3 households in Romania now have access to the internet which in turn means greater access to online gaming platforms. This is also being reflected through the increased investment in online gaming companies operating in the country.
A Big Boost from Gaming’s Diversity
The gaming industry is benefiting greatly from diversity within the industry, which is helping drive up gaming-related revenues. An example of this is the rise of social casino gaming. Market Watch reported that the global social casino market is being driven by the rising number of social media users, growing global population and internet penetration, and emerging smartphone use. As a result, the global social casino market reached USD 5.2 billion (RON 21 billion) in 2018 thanks in part to 10.9% year-on-year growth in the 4th quarter of 2018 alone. Consequently, even companies not directly involved in gaming are now investing in social casino gaming. Notably, The Blackstone Group bought a €175 million (RON 834 million) in stake in Superbet, Romania’s largest sports betting operator. Sports betting is very popular in Romania, and has become part of the country’s thriving gaming culture. Superbet, and its 1,200 betting shops, turned over €180 million (RON 850 million) in revenue last year, which would have contributed to the country’s position in the global gaming rankings.
Romania’s growing gaming industry is a reflection of how the industry across the world is growing. The US, #1 on the list, seeing a record $41.7 billion (RON 175 billion) in commercial gaming revenue in 2017. Like Romania, the Southeast Asian gaming scene is also experiencing a rapid growth, which is having a positive impact on the region’s economy. This is leading to more workers coming to Romania from Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand to work in hospitality sectors. The ASEAN Post reports that in Vietnam there are plans to build two more resorts with casinos in the Special Economic Zones of Phu Quoc and Van Don, while the Philippines is the fastest growing gaming hub in Asia. Even countries with strong gambling laws have also seen an increase in gaming. The ExpatBets guide to card games in Thailand notes how online poker tournaments are becoming super popular. Players from the country are taking part in international tournaments, both online and in casinos, which has led to Thailand becoming one of the top 20 countries for global gaming revenues.
Still Trending Up
Romania’s game industry looks primed for further growth. Gaming Industry reported that the government has made an investment of €93 million (RON 439 million) into the industry. This development aims to help ensure Romania’s standing as an emerging tech hotspot in Europe. It is also an affirmation of Romania’s growing presence in gaming. In the upcoming years, expect to see Romania climb higher in the rankings.