Bulgarian Online Gambling Bans Illegal Sites

Published Thursday, June 13, 2013 - Online-Casinos.com
Bulgarian Online Gambling Bans Illegal Sites

Bulgaria’s Gambling Commission amended the country’s Gambling Act, in 2012. The new rules required all operators offering gambling services to acquire a Bulgarian gambling license.

Now according to the Sofia Globe, it was reported that Bulgaria’s Gambling Commission has blacklisted 22 online betting sites for failing to acquire a license to operate in Bulgaria. The constantly updated blacklist includes the top tier online bookmakers such as Bet365, Ladbrokes, 888, Bet-at-Home, BetFred, BetFair and Sportingbet. The list of banned sites does not include online poker websites or other forms on internet wagering.

Only three local operators hold a license to operate in Bulgaria and they offer sports betting. The state-owned Bulgarian Sport Totalisator and privately owned Eurofootball and Eurobet, are the only legal sites available to Bulgarian punters. Bulgaria is slow in enacting application procedures for those wishing to acquire the license. Two blacklisted firms have applied to offer internet gambling within the jurisdiction.

An appeal process is available for two weeks after the announcement by the Bulgarian Gambling Commission but it doesn’t stop the decision by the Commission to suspend services if the rule is not adhered too. The banned web sites have a 72 hour grace period in which they must comply with the governing body’s orders. Should the operators not voluntarily comply the Commission may request the Sofia District Court to order the country’s internet service providers to block access to the blacklisted websites.

Licensed operators in Bulgaria are required to pay tax on their turnover. It wasn't until 2007 that Bulgaria started considering online gambling. The Bulgarian Ministry of Finance watched as potential tax money flowed out of the country and into international gambling sites hosted abroad. In February of 2008, online gambling was legalized in Bulgaria. It is currently heavily taxed at a flat rate of 10% on profit, which has the EU and casino operators up in arms and protesting.

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