Members of Bulgaria’s Parliament voted on December 4 2013 to approve the first reading of Gambling Act amendments that bring the country’s legislation closer to international practices and put an end to the blacklisting of online gambling operators.
The key provision of the amendment bill is changing the way gambling is taxed – replacing the 15 per cent tax on gambling revenues with a one-off licensing fee of 100 000 leva (about 50 000 euro) and a 20 per cent tax on the “difference between the bets made and the winnings paid out”.
Out of 191 votes, 110 were in favour, 79 against and there were two abstentions.
Gambling companies and individuals which have been granted an operating licence will have to pay a fee on the right to offer their services on the territory of Bulgaria. The fee will be calculated using the same method for Bulgarian and foreign companies and individuals.
In case the authorities have not been informed by the time fixed in the law of the due fee, property sanctions will be imposed on the company or individual offering gambling services.
The requirements concerning online betting services will also apply to all online gambling services defined as such in the Gambling Act as online gambling services are a way of presenting gambling activities as a whole.
The draft bill also provides for amendments to the Measures Against Money Laundering Act and the Corporate Income Tax Act as well as sanctions on companies and individuals that offer gambling services without an operating licence.
(Photo: Kevin van der Draai/sxc.hu)