Bulgarian Blacklist Burgeons Beyond Belief

Government’s approach is all sticks, no carrot

Bulgarian gambling laws - GamingZion

Bureaucracies the world over are great at perfecting the executions of subtasks, even if it contributes zilch to the advancement of overall strategic goals.

A perfect example is Bulgaria, where the government’s proclaimed intent is to increase the budgetary revenue from gambling, including online games of chance. To this end Bulgarian gambling laws had been modified and entered into effect nearly 13 months ago.

Instead of witnessing a rush of Bulgarian internet casino legalization, however, the only part of the legislation that seems to be working effectively is the blacklisting of unlicensed foreign operators.

In fact, the State Gambling Commission added another 20 sites, including Boylesports and 188Bet to its naughty list this week, bringing the number of shunned sites to 94. These internet gambling destinations are to be made inaccessible by local ISPs.

Clearly, waving the big stick is a relatively easy task, and compiling lists is something that public servants do very well, but the extra millions in revenue, expected to hit the Bulgarian budget, have yet to materialize from these efforts.

Making gambling news headlines with a list that bans some of the world’s best known sportsbooks and casinos, without providing them profitable alternatives in this small market of 7 million inhabitants, is unlikely to yield positive results in the foreseeable future.

At this stage the blacklist contains such market leading companies as Bet365, Unibet, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Sportingbet and many more. The actual effectiveness of these mandatory ISP blocks is of course questionable, since Bulgarian online gamblers are innovative enough to find a way around it.

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