Although gambling has a long history of legality and illegality in this Balkan country, the administration was hoping to create a clear picture when it changed Bulgarian gambling laws last year.
One of the changes is the requirement for online operators to obtain a local gambling license before they can solicit or accept Bulgarian players. Those companies that fail to comply may have their sites blocked by local ISPs, through a court order.
Blacklisting operators is the initial step, and can be followed by legal procedures in the absence of voluntary compliance. Companies that found themselves on the wrong side of Bulgarian laws include Bet365, Ladbrokes, 888, BetFred and BetFair.
Noticeably, the list consists of companies that operate online sportsbooks in Bulgaria without having a local license to do so, but acting in competition to state-run sports betting.
It does not contain online Bulgarian poker rooms or bingo halls.
Although the move had been anticipated – since this is the law, after all – but the collapse of the previous government and the subsequent elections delayed the process.
Some blacklisted operators may opt to become locally licensed, but high tax rates have discouraged most of them so far.