Population July 2013: 7 million
GDP 2012: 36.9 Billion EUR
GDP per capita: 10,300 EUR
Taxation for Lotteries: 15%
Online Taxation:
Regulated, local licence required,
taxation: 15% on turnover
   

LEGISLATION

Bulgaria recently renewed its gambling legislation, replacing the Gaming Act of 1999 in 2012. The Act states that games of chance may be organised by Bulgarian or other EU/EEA commercial companies and not-for-profit organisations. All need a license from the state. Not-for-profit organisations may organise incidental lotteries and raffles for charity purposes only. In addition, the state may also arrange lotteries, through state-owned enterprises, but solely for the assistance of sports, culture, health care, education and social welfare.

In 2002, the State Commission on Gambling was established, as part of the Ministry of Finance, which supervises the licensees and grants and revokes the licenses.

The lottery market currently has two state operators; the state lottery and the sports totalizator. In 2003 and 2004 a public tender for the execution of the State Lottery failed. The candidates were Intralot of Greece, Austrian Lotteries, Scientific Games and SNet.

ONLINE LEGISLATION

Online gambling was regulated with the Gambling Act of 2012, which entered into force at the beginning of 2013. Operators might obtain licences for sports betting, including dogs and horse racing, casino games including poker, slot machines, and lotteries. Raffles and instant lottery games are not regulated. Skill games do not fall within definition of gambling. Licences are granted for a period of 5 years.

So far, only two online licences have been granted. One for Malta-based Eurofootball, and in January 2014 one for the state-owned Sports Totalizator. There has been a lack of interest in Bulgarian online licences mainly due to a tax rate of 15% on turnover. This is considered too high by operators. Meanwhile, the State Commission on Gambling has been very active in taking action against illegal online operators. The Commission has the power to place illegal operators on a black list. Following a court order, internet service providers (ISP’s) are prohibited, against a fine, to host the domains on the black list. Currently, there are over 170 names on the Bulgarian black list.

In late 2013, the Bulgarian parliament passed amendments to the Gambling Act to change the tax regime. The proposal currently on the table would see the introduction of a one-off fee for a licence (of about € 50,000) and a 20% tax on GGR, instead of the tax on turnover. Licenced operators are allowed to advertise their services, but with restrictions. An amendment to loosen these restrictions did not pass parliament.


CHARITY LOTTERIES

As far as we know, no lotteries exist in Bulgaria that meet the criteria of a charity lottery. As the state owned operators do distribute part of the profits to good causes, they are mentioned below.


OTHER LOTTERIES

  • BULGARIAN STATE LOTTERY

    The Bulgarian State Lottery offers number lotteries and instant lotteries. The profits of the lottery are destined for culture, education, healthcare and social welfare.

    In 2010, the State Lottery reportedly made a profit of over BGN 125 million (€ 64 million). These revenues go to the state coffers for the above categories. The Sports Ministry specifically received BGN 25 million (€ 13 million). For more information visit: www.bglottery.com

  • BULGARIAN SPORTS TOTALIZATOR

    The Bulgarian Sports Totalizator is a government-run lottery company, established in 1957. The company offers lottery games, including instant games, and toto games, including sports betting, and dog and horse racing betting. It operates through about 1,800 sales terminals spread throughout the country. In 2014, the Sports Totalizator received the second online gambling licence issued to date by the Bulgarian government.

    Turnover in 2012 was BGN 158 million (€ 81 million). 17% of revenue is destined for the Ministry of Youth and Sports (about € 14 million). For more information, please visit: www.toto.bg