After the breaking up of the unpopular blacklist, operators have been treated to another great piece of Bulgarian gambling news, as the parliament has voted to amend the taxation laws that have caused so much consternation.
A previous change to Bulgarian gambling law had set the taxation levels to 15% of online betting turnover, a figure that most believed made the country unprofitable from a gambling perspective. As such, many operators stayed away, hence the size of the blacklist of “illegal” operators. Now, though, the tax level is likely to be reduced to 20% of gross profits.
Currently there is just one licensed online sportsbook in Bulgaria, Efbet, but the government is hoping the new laws will help to attract operators back to the country. A license now costs around EUR51,000, while the 20% gross profit tax would be collected every month. As such, the government expects their take will be EUR11.2m lower than under the old system.
That figure, however, was calculated on the basis of Efbet remaining the only operator. With the relaxation of the tax laws, as well as the shedding of names from the blacklist, that number will surely grow quickly. Saying that, with a license taking 6 months for approval, operators would need to apply quickly to get in before the World Cup, for instance.
The latest company to exit the Bulgarian blacklist was William Hill, and it is thought that the UK bookmaker was already applied for a provisional license, having been made aware of the feted taxation changes. Many more are sure to follow suit in the near future, leading to a strong presence in Bulgaria once again.
Some members of Parliament are against the new laws, claiming that the system could be “fudged”, as the revenue needs to be declared to the State Commission on Gambling rather than the National Revenue Agency.