Bulgarian Parliament passes bill shutting down Gambling Commission

Bulgaria’s National Assembly passed at second reading on July 23 a bill amending the Gambling Act, which envisions the dismantling of the erstwhile regulator, transferring oversight of all gambling activities to the National Revenue Agency.

The revenue agency would take over all the legal duties, archive and assets of the Gambling Commission, which would be shut down over a period of three months by a liquidation commission appointed by the Cabinet.

Initially, the bill envisioned replacing the Gambling Commission with a new regulatory body, a State Agency for Gambling, but those plans were abandoned in favour of handing oversight to the National Revenue Agency.

Another change introduced by the bill is that 10 per cent of all gambling proceeds would go to fund culture. This prompted some debate on the National Assembly floor whether the culture allocation might cause tension with sports federations, which currently receive funding from state gambling proceeds.

One amendment rejected by MPs was the proposal to limit gambling in Bulgaria to five-star hotels, resorts and areas within 20km of the country’s borders.

(Photo: Kevin van der Draai/sxc.hu)

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