Bulgaria’s Parliament has approved the first reading of legislation limiting the activities of bars, clubs, restaurants and gambling halls in Sofia’s Students Town, responding to a prolonged series of serious incidents in the university students’ dormitory residential area.
The bill says that restaurants and other places of entertainment, including casinos, that are less than 100 metres from student dormitories must close by 10pm.
In turn, any such establishment that stays open after 10pm may not be less than 100m from a dormitory or on state land in the area.
The bill bans the sale of alcohol in dormitories and the opening of new gambling halls in Students Town.
The area frequently has made headlines in Bulgarian-language media for incidents including fatal assaults, hawking of illegal drugs, binge drinking and prostitution.
Casinos that fail to comply with the ban will be closed after their licences expire, according to the bill.
The bill drew support from across the political spectrum of parties in Parliament, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television said.
(Photo: Cathy Kaplan)
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