Bulgarian Regulated Online Gambling Expected July 1st 2012

Published Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - Online-Casinos.com

Bulgaria is the fourteenth largest country in Europe with a population of 7.36 million people that are predominantly urban and mainly concentrated in the administrative centres of its 28 provinces. Most commercial and cultural activities are concentrated in the capital Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are heavy industry, power engineering and agriculture, all relying on local natural resources. Bulgaria is a member of the European Union and is subject to E.U. rules of economic practices including free e-commerce. Most Bulgarians (72.5 per cent) reside in urban areas where high speed internet is available. Bulgaria has the highest home ownership rate in the world; about 97 per cent of the population live in privately owned homes and a relatively high rate for computer ownership stands at 42.9 percent.

Bulgaria is a Balkan nation that shows big potential for online gambling operators despite the expected high tax rate proposed by the new rules for gambling. Management Board of the Bulgarian Gaming Association, founder and honorary member Rossi McKee was quoted by newspaper YogoNet recently as stating the Bulgarian Gaming Association expects online gambling to attract a new and younger demographic to its base of online customers and the organization is of the opinion that the country offers enough room and opportunity for both land based and online operators.

The end of March 2012 saw the Government Gazette publish the new rules with a section for regulated online betting to become effective as of July 1st 2012. McKee itemized the key points of the new law in the interview, such as the possibility for any online operator to obtain licensing to operate legally in the country, though stricter requirements are in place for gaming operators and manufacturers that include capital and investment provisions. Also a ban on direct gambling advertising will be imposed in order to protect minors from being exposed to gambling. Clear definitions will be introduced in the new law on all forms of gaming and there is an expectation that tax amendments to the currently heavy Government tax levy will be applied to provide a healthy business environment.

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