New changes to the Bulgarian gambling laws were introduced last week. The parliament approved amendments to the currently existing laws that will introduce a threefold reduction in gambling taxes.
The modifications passed after the support of 110 votes, 79 against and two abstentions. The proposal was initiated by two of the current ruling parties: the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), headed by Yordan Tsonev – the chair of the parliamentary budget committee.
Mr. Tsonev expressed his opinion that the budget revenues will be higher rather than lower after the law takes effect, predicting that by 2015 the additional revenue to the budget could reach BGN 50 million and by 2016 – BGN 100 million.
The amendments in the law will also affect the corporate tax on mobile casinos, bookmakers, poker, lottery and lotto games operators, which will be increased as of next year.
The rules for both domestic and international operators willing to sustain or obtain a gambling license in Bulgaria are the following: two-component fee have to be paid – the first one is a single fee of BGN 100,000 (€51,127/$69,464) and the second one is a monthly fee containing 20% of the difference between the collective value of bets and their paid winnings.
The new regulations make it much easier to do business within the country, with the basic threefold reduction in tax doubled for Sports Totalizers (TOTO) and almost tripled for online gambling sites in Bulgaria.
The currently existing regulations in Bulgaria subject the operators to a 15% tax on turnover. It significantly reduces the chance for substantial profit for the gambling companies, leading many foreign bookmakers to exit the market. The new amendments are expected to attract these operators, and more, back, as well as increase budget revenues.