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Bulgarian gambling industry expected to add BGN200m to 2024 budget

| By Kyle Goldsmith
The Bulgarian gambling industry is predicted to generate BGN200m (£88m/€102.3m/$111.7m) for the country’s budget in 2024.
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The estimate was made by the country’s ministry of finance. Bulgaria is expecting “very serious capital investments” to help reach its target.

Bulgaria’s State Gazette made the announcement, with minister of finance Asen Vassilev outlining all capital expenditures.

Taxation changes to aid Bulgaria’s budget

With gambling adding over BGN300m in taxes and fees to the state budget over the last two years, changes to Bulgaria’s tax structure could help boost its financial contribution even further.

However, the fee for obtaining a licence has increased significantly, up 300% on before. Tax on income has also jumped from 15% to 20%.

These hikes have created controversy with the Association of the Gaming Industry in Bulgaria (AGIB), which “categorically” disagreed with the increases as far too disproportionate.

Vassilev, meanwhile, disagreed by stating that the fiscal programme will still allow for fairly strong growth in the gambling industry.

Regulation in Bulgaria enhanced in 2023

Bulgaria tightened its gambling controls in 2023, with the country’s National Revenue Agency (NRA) creating a new anti-money laundering unit.

This came after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) threatened to enhance its monitoring of Bulgarian gambling.

The AML unit introduced requirements such as customer verification, collecting documents and creating money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessments.

Its launch follows a 2020 money laundering risk assessment which identified deficiencies in a number of sectors.

The AML unit sits within the NRA. This is the department which took control of gambling regulation in 2020 after Bulgaria disbanded the State Commission on Gambling.

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