Bulgaria Intensifies Crackdown on Unauthorized Online Gaming Sites with Over 600 Blocks

Enforcement Actions and Compliance Requirements

The NRA’s investigation revealed these websites allowed users to create accounts and engage in gambling, offering various payment options. This practice was found to be in direct violation of Bulgarian gambling regulations due to the absence of appropriate licenses. This is something that affects both online casinos and sportsbooks alike.

Operators identified by the NRA as non-compliant with local laws are mandated to halt their services in Bulgaria within three days of receiving an official notice. Failure to comply within this timeframe may lead the Magistrates Court to instruct internet service providers to restrict access to these sites.

Strengthening Gambling Regulations and Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

In a move to fortify its gambling regulations, Bulgaria has recently implemented a series of changes, including the establishment of a new anti-money laundering unit named “Prevention and Counter Action Against Money Laundering” under the NRA. This initiative is part of a broader overhaul of the country’s gambling regulations initiated in 2020.

These reforms were enacted following collaborations with international bodies like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and MONEYVAL, aiming to address vulnerabilities in Bulgaria’s defenses against money laundering and terrorist funding.

Future Directions: Increased Revenues and Ongoing Enforcement

Here are some of the most important points that have to be remembered:
  • The National Revenue Agency (NRA) of Bulgaria identified an additional 150 gambling sites as illegal in September of the previous year for lacking the necessary licenses to operate within the European Union.
  • This action is part of Bulgaria’s ongoing efforts to regulate the online gambling market and ensure compliance with national and EU laws.
  • The Bulgarian government has significantly increased licensing fees and taxes on gambling revenues to strengthen regulatory measures.
  • The increased financial measures are expected to contribute an additional BGN200 million (£88 million) to the national treasury in the 2024 budget.
  • These steps reflect Bulgaria’s commitment to combating unauthorized online gambling and enhancing the legal framework governing the gambling sector.

Those who are planning to play online casino games in Bulgarian jurisdiction, will need to be aware of the facts mentioned above. Depending on the outcome of the regulations, new taxes and charges might be introduced when playing in an online gambling site.

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Joshua Rawlings Written by Joshua Rawlings