Bulgarian Online Gambling Needs Proper Regulation

Published Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - Online-Casinos.com

Bulgaria, a former Communist country entered the European Union on 1 January 2007. Back then the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance submitted proposals which would help with the regulation and taxing of online poker there. The new regulations that were proposed would allow the Bulgarian sports betting monopoly to have the ability in developing new Internet games as well as the ability to join with private companies. This would have made it possible for Bulgarians to go into new market areas, while taxing the anticipated growth in online gambling.
The current system that is in place, has created problems. Mostly it influences a black market in Bulgaria for Internet gambling, because of excessive regulations. Currently, the sports book and the government lottery are required to give 50 percent of its revenues as winnings, and after the government takes it's measure, the total disbursements end up being 85 percent of revenues. This does not leave very much room for operator profits. The current estimates for Bulgaria are $520 million, from current revenues coming in from legal betting. In addition to this, another approximate $440 million is apparently brought in through illegal betting.

Representatives of the State Gambling Commission are now estimating that the country is loosing a great deal more money to illegal offshore betting. Estimates for revenues going into the hands of illegal gambling operations run as high as BGN 1,5 Billion in 2009. Almost triple the estimates back in 2007.

Simeon Simeonov, a State Gambling Commission representative was quoted as saying, that the companies providing Internet gambling and bets in Bulgaria are unlicensed. The Commission has reportedly imposed fines on such companies but with no real effect.

Alexander Tumparov, Deputy Chair of the Bulgarian Association for Entertainment and Gambling Games, said that the unlicensed online gambling operators working in Bulgaria were in violation of nine different laws. It is reported that these revelations about the online gambling in Bulgaria were made during a seminar on bookmaking in Sofia sponsored by the unlicensed gambling operator Betsafe.

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