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BULGARIAN ONLINE GAMBLING REFORM PROGRESSES
19th December, 2013 at 10:10:55
Second reading of reform bill approved by Parliament
Bulgarian parliamentarians passed the second reading of the country's gambling reform bill Thursday. The bill is designed to attract rather than repel online gambling operators seeking licenses in the Eastern European country, and is mainly focused on creating a more realistic and benevolent tax regime.
The passage of the second reading brings the country's legislation closer to international practices and the end of the blacklisting of online gambling operators.
The Sofia Globe reports that a key provision of the amendment bill is changing the way gambling is taxed replacing the 15% tax on gambling revenues with a one-off licensing fee of 100 000 leva (about Euro 50 000) and a 20% tax on the difference between the bets made and the winnings paid out.
Games of chance that rely on collecting fees or commissions will be required to pay 20% of such revenue as tax.
The amendments also ban gambling operators from manufacturing, importing or servicing gambling machines. An exception was made for importing machines if they are to be used by the operator itself.
MPs voted down an amendment that would have allowed operators to expand the scope of their advertising after opposition party GERB argued that this would give operators an opening to target young customers.
The Cabinet has already amended online gambling licensing regulations to make it easier for operators based outside Bulgaria to apply and receive a licence, the newspaper recalls (see previous reports).
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