Bulgaria Intensifies Action Against Unregulated Igaming Sites, Exceeding 600 RestrictionsIn a significant regulatory move, the National Revenue Agency (NRA) of Bulgaria has escalated its efforts against unregulated igaming, leading to the blockade of over 600 websites in the final quarter of 2023 due to the absence of valid licenses.
Investigation Outcomes and Enforcement Measures
Investigations conducted by the NRA revealed that these sites facilitated player account creation and online gambling with multiple payment options, directly contravening Bulgarian gambling legislations owing to lack of licensing. This event affects both online casinos and sportsbook bonus websites as well!
Under the NRA’s guidelines, all operators not aligning with Bulgaria’s gambling regulations are required to terminate their operations within three days of receiving a formal notice. In cases of non-compliance, the Magistrates Court of Bulgaria is authorized to instruct ISPs to restrict access to these websites.
Strengthening Regulatory Framework and AML Efforts
In its commitment to reinforcing gambling regulations, Bulgaria has established a new anti-money laundering division, named “Prevention and Counter Action Against Money Laundering,” operating under the NRA. Here are some of the key points you need to remember:
- The initiative is a key part of Bulgaria’s extensive gambling regulatory reforms started in 2020.
- It is designed to upgrade Bulgaria’s regulatory framework for gambling in online casinos and sportsbooks.
- The reforms are the result of collaboration with organizations like the FATF and MONEYVAL.
- Their primary goal is to bolster Bulgaria’s protections against money laundering.
- They also aim to enhance the country’s defenses against terrorist financing activities.
Financial Implications and Future Outlook
Additionally, in the previous year, the NRA identified an extra 150 gambling sites as illegal, concluding their operations within the EU to be unlicensed. The Bulgarian government has also upped the ante on licensing fees and gambling income tax. For the fiscal year 2024, it is anticipated that these measures will contribute an additional BGN200 million (£88 million) to the national treasury.