Proposed changes to gambling legislation fail to pass Bulgarian parliament

The majority of MPs abstained.
The majority of MPs abstained.

The proposal included a blanket ban on gambling advertising.

Bulgaria.- Proposed amendments to Bulgaria’s gambling legislation have failed in a parliamentary vote due to a majority of members abstaining. Far-right nationalist Kostadin Kostadinov‘s Vazrazhdane party’s proposal included a blanket ban on gambling ads and the introduction of a minimum two-year period for gambling self-exclusion.

The bill also proposed replacing licence fees for operators with a 15 per cent tax on deposits. That would have reverted the situation to how it was in the past, but with the inclusion of land-based casinos in the same regime. Finally, the proposal would have doubled maximum payouts for land-based gambling from 5,000 (€2,000) to 10,000 levs.

Last month, Bulgaria’s gambling regulator, National Revenue Agency (NRA), and the State Agency for National Security announced a new joint initiative on anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF). A meeting with gambling industry stakeholders discussed ways that industry bodies can coordinate with members.

NRA Director General Rumen Spetsov said there will be increased collaboration between the regulator and the gambling industry to solve challenges regarding regulatory procedures and changes.

In January, the NRA said it had blocked more than 600 online gambling sites in the last three months of 2023. It said the sites, including 22bet, Leon Casino and Luckyhit, were operating without a valid licence.

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