From haircuts to high stakes: Barber who graduated at 32 appointed by…

Foto: Cristian Pascu site oficial

From haircuts to high stakes: Barber who graduated at 32 appointed by PM to lead gambling oversight

Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu appointed Cristian-Gabriel Pascu as the deputy head of the National Office for Gambling on Monday, following a proposal from the Ministry of Finance, according to a decision published in the Official Gazette. Cristian-Gabriel Pascu has no connection to the gambling industry, as per his resume. He holds a diploma in hairdressing and completed his law degree at Hyperion University (a private institution) at the age of 32.

Initially, the National Liberal Party (PNL) had proposed a different candidate for the deputy head position at the National Office for Gambling (ONJN), but the government rejected this nomination, leading to Cristi Pascu’s appointment, sources from the liberal camp told G4Media. Pascu served as a local councilor at the Sector 6 City Hall on behalf of the PNL and was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors for the Sector 6 Urban Innovation and Design Center under the city hall’s jurisdiction. Pascu is also the president of the PNL Businessmen’s Club in Sector 6.

His official resume reveals that for the majority of his career, he was involved in the hairdressing sector, managing several „beauty salons.” He is also listed as a consultant for a construction company and another in the technology field.

In his resume, he also mentioned his role as a presenter on Euforia TV, a television channel focused on entertainment shows. Pascu has been consistently featured in tabloid press, entangled in scandals with other figures from the entertainment industry.

When asked by a G4Media reporter what relevant experience qualifies him for this job in the gambling regulation field, Cristian Gabriel Pascu said, „Strictly speaking about gambling, I can’t say I have experience in the field. My relevant experience is as an entrepreneur; I’ve had many businesses in various domains. I completed my law degree in due time, and I’ve had multiple business experiences. Generally, in everything I do, I try to perform as well as possible.”

Asked if he could cite the legislation that established and governs the National Office for Gambling, Pascu said, „If you’re asking me to know specific legislation in this area, I really can’t help you, it’s a relatively new field. Consider that the appointment was made last night, now it’s 8 in the morning, and you’re already asking me to know the legislation. I was appointed because when I’ve been given a task, I’ve completed it. Let me get to grips with it, and I’ll be at your disposal with all the details about the legislation.”

Pascu also mentioned that one of his relevant experiences is a decision initiated by him at the Sector 6 Local Council, which mandates that all business licenses in the sector are to be renewed once every four years instead of every six months, as was the case previously.

The National Office for Gambling (ONJN) is the institution that regulates and oversees the slot machine and online betting market, estimated to be worth several billion euros annually.

Parts of civil society and several parliamentarians have consistently criticized the state authorities’ lack of response to the rapid expansion of gambling among vulnerable groups. Despite the swift increase in the number of individuals addicted to gambling, the PSD-PNL coalition has blocked all legislative proposals that would limit the presence of betting shops and betting advertisements in localities.

The legislative proposals have been stalled for a year in the Chamber of Deputies, where PSD and PNL hold the majority.

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