Under Bulgaria’s online gambling laws, the games of chance are legal. The industry is regulated by the Bulgarian State Commission for Gambling. To offer online betting and gaming services, operators need to apply to SCG with a package of documents and pay a fee. If approved, they receive licenses according to the gambling legislation.
Revenues from online gambling in Bulgaria exceed 3 mln BGN yearly, which makes around 5% of the local GDP. The official age from which people can play games of chance is 18. Some fun statistics here:
- The numbers show that this activity is equally popular between males and females.
- Also, one out of seven Bulgarians places bets on scratch cards.
- Since online gambling was legalized, more than 40 locals became millionaires after winning big on games of chance.
License required for all casinos
Some casinos blocked
|Land-based||Online, operator||Online, player||ISP|
||Legal||License required for all casinos||No penalty||Some casinos blocked||Not Restricted||-----||
But lenience towards gambling has not always been a thing for Bulgaria.
Up until 1993, all forms of gambling were prohibited. Bulgaria was in this exclusion together with the rest of the countries that formed the USSR. Once the Union fell apart and the country received its independence, it took restrictions off gambling. It was not until 1998 that the first regulations were introduced. And as for online casinos, these started being properly regulated by 2008.
At first, Bulgarian authorities obliged online companies to pay 15% of the turnover as tax. This, however, led to operators trying to avoid taxes at all costs, and to the growth of the shadow economy. After some careful considerations, SCG revised the Gambling Act and established a single license fee of 50,000 Euros, and changed tax from 15% on turnover to 20% of gross profits.
The SCG takes out-of-country gambling seriously. It monitors the industry and may issue orders to the local ISPs to block any foreign and domestic operators if it finds those guilty of illegal activities. Before issuing the order, SCG usually publishes a list of casinos without a license on its official website and gives them a chance to stop offering services. Then, it proceeds to block the websites. Sometimes, an additional fine of 30,000 BGN may be imposed, too.
This, however, does not mean that the Bulgarian players cannot access the services of international lobbies. Unlike Austria that obliges international operators to have offices and to by physically present in the country, Bulgarian SCG simply lists specific business practices that the brands have to follow in order to keep players safe.
In our database, over 350 online casinos accept players from this country, and out of them, 21 are friendly. This means that either the local language, currency, or specific payment methods are supported. Among the lobbies that we can recommend turning to first are those that are regulated by the jurisdiction of Gibraltar. Among many others, there is also a Kahnawake-compliant Golden Tiger, Curacao-regulated Jetbull, Casino Room, and Malta-certified Wild Jackpots