Bulgaria Revamps Online Gaming Laws

The Bulgarian Parliament has revoked its 15 percent tax on gambling revenue in place of a tax on profits and done away with its blacklist restricting online operators in the country. The moves are part of a relaxing of online laws.

The Bulgarian Parliament has passed amendments to the country’s Gambling Act that includes doing away with its 15 percent take on gambling revenues and elimination of the country’s online gambling blacklist.

Earlier, Parliament moved to allow gambling operators to apply for licenses online in an effort to make it easier for foreign operators to operate online gambling sites in the country.

One amendment abolishes the country’s 15 percent take on gambling revenues and replaces it with a one-time licensing fee of about $70,000 along with a 20 percent tax on gambling profits—defined as “the difference between the bets made and the winnings paid out.” In the case of poker tournaments or other games that rely on fees and commissions to make a profit, 20 percent of revenue will be taxed.

According to published reports, the amendments will also end Bulgaria’s blacklist of operators who are not allowed to operate in the country. More than 50 different websites were on the list.

Parliament also voted down a proposed amendment that would have allowed operators more freedom to advertise their services in the country, fearing that the ads would target juveniles.

Another amendment bans operators from manufacturing, importing or servicing slot machines in Bulgaria, but companies are allowed to import machines that they intend to use themselves.