All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 ITR is part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC group.

Bulgaria: Amendments to the Law on Gambling leads to diversion of investments for millions from Bulgaria


Donka Pechilkova

According to a decision of the Sofia City Court, effectively from June 17 2013, a total of 22 sites for sports betting are forbidden by the State Gambling Committee. The reason is that they do not have the licence required by the Law on Gambling that entered into force last year. Among the online portals are the biggest betting sites in the world. The number of the blocked websites increases every two weeks, due to the new alternative websites that open daily. Officially the amendments, referring to hundreds of millions of leva and are not only connected with betting via the internet, but imposes an unprecedented censorship on the internet, comparable with that of countries like North Korea, China, Iran, Iraq, Syria and others.

The announcement of the forbidden sites list legally is treated as notice to the gambling companies to block the access to their sites from Bulgaria or to limit the acceptance of bets.

If the access is not stopped, the committee will then address the Sofia Regional Court to announce its verdict and if the court rules a decision in favour of the regulator, the ball then swings off to the internet suppliers who will have to ban access to the quoted sites.

The paradox is that in accordance with the Law on Gambling, the sites should have licences but at the same time there is no law frame that specifies what the procedure for issuing such licences is. Because of that, though there are deposited applications for the issuing of licences for online betting from big companies, the licensing procedure cannot start for a year now as the State Committee itself has not yet prepared what is necessary for the purpose of regulations to the law.

The fact is that this situation chased away companies that invested millions in the country, while in other European countries they sponsor, for example, football teams like Manchester United, Barcelona, Milan and others.

The conclusion is that in this way the state will stimulate with tens and even hundreds of millions of leva the illegal bookmakers throughout Bulgaria, which means that hundreds of millions of tax will not be delivered to the Bulgarian treasury.

Donka Pechilkova (

Eurofast Global, Sofia Office

Tel: +359 2 988 69 77


more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

Several tax chiefs shared their administrations’ latest digital identity tracking systems and other tax technologies at the OECD’s annual meeting of authorities.
Businesses welcome the UK’s decision to scrap the IR35 reforms but are not happy about the time and money they have wasted to date.
Energy ministers agreed on regulations including a windfall tax on fossil fuel companies to address high gas prices at an extraordinary Council meeting on September 30.
The European Parliament raises concerns over unanimity in voting on pillar two, while protests break out over tax reform in Colombia.
Ramesh Khaitan speaks to reporter Siqalane Taho about tax morality, transfer pricing regulations, Indian tax developments, and the OECD’s two-pillar solution.
Join ITR and KPMG China at 10am BST on October 19 as they discuss the personal, employment, and corporate tax-related implications of employees working from overseas.
Tricentis and Boehringer Ingelheim, along with a European Commission TP specialist, criticised the complexity of pillar one rules and their scope at an ITR event.
Speakers at ITR’s Managing Tax Disputes Summit said taxpayers can still face lengthy TP audits, despite strong documentation preparation
Gig economy companies in New Zealand will need to fully account and become liable for the goods and services tax of underlying suppliers on their platforms, under new proposals.
Join ITR and Thomson Reuters at 2pm (UAE) / 11am (UK) on October 13 as they discuss how businesses can prepare for Tax Administration 3.0 and future-proof against changes such as e-invoicing and increasing digitisation.
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree