The Supreme Administrative Court has declared the State Gambling Commission’s decree null and void.
Bulgaria.- The Supreme Administrative Court has declared null and void a decree that held the former gambling operator Eurofootball responsible for a debt of BGN 329m ($168.1m). Bulgaria’s State Gambling Commission had issued the degree ordering the former gambling operator to pay unpaid taxes and interest to the state in February 2020.
The tax case was the largest involving a company that belonged to the fallen gambling mogul Vasil Bojkov. The court ruled that the chair of the State Gambling Commission was an incompetent authority to issue the decree.
The ruling cannot be appealed, but the court did not rule on the amount claimed by the regulator. However, according to Mediapool.bg, if a new decree is issued, most of Eurofootball’s debt will already have expired.
The lower-instance Sofia City Administrative Court had previously ruled that Eurofootball owed BGN 261m in fees and 67.7m in interest because it had paid lower state gambling fees than legally due for five years. The court found that the law had been incorrectly applied by the gambling operator and the Finance Ministry.
Bojkov was once estimated to be the richest man in Bulgaria, worth between BGN 1.5 and 3bn, however he lost his gambling empire when private lotteries were banned in early 2020. Eurofootball’s licence was suspended in March 2020.
Bojkov was later charged with evading licensing fees, money laundering, extortion, bribery, murder, attempted rape and leading an organized crime group. He is now living in the United Arab Emirates – Bulgaria has failed to have him extradited.
Since then, Bojkov has made allegations of corruption against government ministers on social media. He attempted to enter politics in 2021 but was unsuccessful.
In August, a new executive director and board was named for Bulgaria’s Sports Totalizator, the state-owned lottery and betting operator. Lecheva has removed the previous leadership of the monopoly, which operates the Toto BG brand.
Lecheva has appointed Angel Angelov as executive director of the operator. Angelov is reported to have a master’s degree in financial control and managerial experience in corporate finance, business administration, governance structures and risk management. The changes have been filed with the Registry Agency.