There is no global standard for the regulation of gambling and in fact, legislation and laws relating to betting and gaming differ hugely from one nation state to another.
On this page we’ve got a guide to online betting in Bulgaria which includes a list of recommended Bulgaria betting sites and all the laws you need to know if you’re living and betting online in the country.
Before you dive in you’ll be pleased to know that online gambling, including sports betting, is legal in Bulgaria as long as you are over the age of 18 years. All the big players have licensed online services and luckily some of our highest rated bookmakers accept Bulgarian customers.
Key Facts: Online Gambling In Bulgaria
- All forms of gambling now legal both online and offline.
- Gambling sites charged 15% tax but player pay nothing.
- Legal gambling age is 18+.
- Residents can use any site with a licence legally.
- Since 2013 all major operators have been granted licences.
Top 3 Bulgarian Betting Sites:
The following is a list of the best betting sites for residents of Bulgaria:
Gambling Law & Legislation: Is it illegal or legal?
As Bulgaria has only been a modern, independent state since the fall of the Soviet Union, the story of gambling legislation in the country is comparatively short. The following timeline provides an outline of the major landmarks within that story:
1993 – Government Decree
It was by government decree that in 1993 casinos, bingo halls and a national lottery were all legalised within the relatively young state of Bulgaria. Whilst this decree did lead to the creation of a number of such legal establishments, however, oversight and regulation of the newly legal industry was close to non-existent for a number of years.
1998 – The Gaming Law
It wasn’t until 1998 that the first truly effective and wide-ranging legislation related to the regulation of the gambling industry in Bulgaria was introduced. This came in the shape of the Gaming Law which gave some real shape to the industry and created Bulgaria’s State Commission for Gambling (SCG). From this point on it was the SCG which was responsible for issuing licences within Bulgaria.
2008 – Online Gambling Legalised
In the year 2008, the Bulgarian government passed more legislation which this time fully legalised online gambling. In the same way as other gambling had remained largely un-regulated for the first few years of its legalisation, however, online gambling was also not properly regulated until 2012.
2012 – The Gambling Act
It was the Gambling Act of 2012 (download here) which went the longest way to fully regulating gambling within Bulgaria and was the first legislation to properly cover online gambling. The act was created to regulate the conditions and procedures for…
1. Organising of gambling games; 2. Organising of activities of manufacturing, distribution, and servicing and import, distribution, and servicing of gambling equipment; 3. Issuing, extending, revocation, and termination of licences for activities under items 1 and 2; and 4. Control over the activities under items 1 and 2.
In order to achieve those goals, however, the act also introduced a restrictive tax of 15% on providers’ total turnover and allowed for the creation of a blacklist of unlicensed providers. Any organisations on that blacklist would be blocked by internet service providers in Bulgaria and in short order the list had grown to a length in excess of 350 companies.
2013 – Gambling Reform Bill
Unsurprisingly the high tax rate applied to the gambling industry and the restrictive nature of the SCG’s blacklist did not please the gambling industry. Such was the uproar created, in fact, that the Bulgarian government passed the Gambling Reform Bill in 2013. This legislation relaxed the tax requirement to a one-time licensing fee of around €50,000 and a rate of 20% of a company’s gross profits.
Tax on Winnings
As we have discussed above, taxation of gambling in Bulgaria has been a hot button issue in recent years and has created a great deal of conflict. For punters themselves, however, there is fortunately nothing to worry about.
This is the case as both the original 15% gambling tax rate and the more recently relaxed taxation legislation relates only to gambling providers and not to their customers. As is the case in many countries, in fact, the Bulgarian government do not tax the winnings which punters may make from gambling.
Gambling has long been legal in Bulgaria and as mentioned above there is also no issue with the taxation of winnings. As such, a punter’s choice of deposit method can be dictated solely by issues such as speed of transfer, security and ease of use.
With that in mind it makes sense for any potential Bulgarian punters to deposit using either credit or debit card if possible. Those methods offer amongst the quickest deposits and withdrawals of any alternatives, are widely considered to be the most secure and are methods available to almost all customers.