In March 2012, the Bulgarian Parliament adopted a new Gambling Act which came into force on 30th June 2012 and it replaced the Gambling ACT of 1999. The new law introduces significant changes compared to the legal regime under the repealed Gambling Act of 1999. The new Gambling Act preserved the basic principles of the regulatory regime of gambling activities which have been previously applied in Bulgaria, namely, the regulation of an exhaustive list of permitted gambling games, which can be organised by the state-owned or private entities under a gaming licence.
Types of Games
The Gambling Act stipulates that only the type of gambling games exhaustively listed in it may be organised in the territory of Bulgaria. Such games include:
The main supervisory and regulatory body is the State Commission of Gambling, which is generally empowered to supervise the activities related to the organisation and offering of online and land-based games, as well as, the activities of the producers, importers, distributors and maintenance companies of gambling equipment.
The Gambling Act provides for general requirements applicable to all gambling games, such as, rules for each game, gaming equipment requirement, currencies of winnings and maximum winnings payable per day.
Gambling licences may be issued to Bulgarian companies or companies registered in another EU Member State.
For the purpose of making bets and payments of winnings, a bank account must be opened with a bank licensed in Bulgaria or in the territory of another EU Member State or the Swiss Confederation. There is no legal requirement whereby the money of the company and the money of the players have to be split in two separate accounts. Therefore, there is no need in opening of two separate operational and players’ bank accounts.
If the applicant holds a gambling licence issued by a competent authority in another EU Member State or the Swiss Confederation, under certain mandatory documentation and conditions for the issuance of such licence may be considered as already approved in the Bulgarian application procedure without the presentation of specific documentation to this effect.
The licencing process takes between 2-3 months unless the Gambling Commission requests additional documents or information in support of the application, in which case the deadline for taking a decision is prolonged until the submission of such documents is made.
Each licensee must have a Bulgarian representative, who shall be the contact person between the licensee and the Gambling Commission.
The online gaming licence is issued for the period of 5 years.
The game and database server of the applicant can be located within the territory of Bulgaria or in the territory of another EU Member State or the Swiss Confederation.
However, the applicant should have a replication server in the territory of Bulgaria of all the bets and winnings made on the territory of Bulgaria for the submission to the National Revenue Agency of information about the simultaneous gaming sessions, the bets placed, and the winnings paid to each player.
The gambling software, as well as, any new version of the software has to be approved by the Commission of Gambling.
Licence Fee (covering the period of 5 years)