Bulgaria Cracks Down on Illegal Gambling Sites, Blocks 600 Websites

Bulgaria has intensified its crackdown on illegal gambling, with the National Revenue Agency (NRA) reporting the blocking of over 600 unlicensed gambling websites in the last three months of 2023. These websites, including 22bet, leon casino, and luckyhit, allowed Bulgarian consumers to participate in online games of chance without a valid license.

The NRA has the authority to require unlicensed gambling operators to cease their activity within three days of the announcement. Failure to comply could lead to court action, with internet service providers potentially being required to block access to the operators’ websites and sub-domains.

The NRA’s decisions, along with those of the Sofia Regional Court, are accessible on the regulatory body’s official website. The NRA maintains lists of both licensed and unlicensed gambling operators, and consumers are encouraged to report illegal gambling websites to help keep the Bulgarian market free of unlicensed gambling.

In addition to its crackdown on unlicensed gambling, Bulgaria has made significant changes to its gambling laws. In December, the country implemented substantial tax hikes for licensed gambling operators, despite objections from the Association of the Gaming Industry in Bulgaria (AGIB). These tax changes are expected to generate an additional BGN 200 million in revenue and create a level playing field for all operators, according to MP Petar Petrov.

Bulgaria is also collaborating with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to reinforce its rules on gambling, aiming to enhance its anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) efforts.

In other news, Stefan Milanov, a Bulgarian tennis official, has been suspended for sixteen years due to severe TACP violations.