All forms of betting in Bulgaria are regulated under the Gambling Act of 2012. The State Commission on Gambling is charged with the primary supervisory and regulatory functions. The administrative body works under the Minister of Finance. Some of its roles and responsibilities are issuing licenses to gambling operators, issuing mandatory rules and requirements for providing gambling services, approving software used by online operators, and performing general control and supervision of gambling in the country.
The Bulgarian law specifies all the gambling products that casino operators can offer. Some of them have specific requirements regarding licensing, but the general procedure is similar for all products. The first category of products consists of casino games, including card and table games.
The second category is betting. Betting is further classified into different subcategories, including betting on random events, betting related to knowledge of facts, and sports betting. eSports betting is considered part of sports betting. Other categories are slots and machine gaming, terminal-based gaming, bingo, and lottery.
The Bulgarian gambling laws require casino operators to pay corporate income taxes for all generated revenues. The tax paid depends on several factors, including the casino games or betting types offered and the equipment used. The tax thresholds are usually calculated in percentages.
Land-based casinos are liable to pay an additional 15% to the State Commission on Gambling (SCG) monthly as license maintenance fees. For games that pay participation commissions, the casino must also pay 20% of the commission amount to the SCG. Personal income tax is not paid on winnings from gambling games, as per the Individual Incomes Taxes Act of 2006.
Offshore casino operators are not required to pay corporate income taxes unless they own operations or assets in Bulgaria that are considered permanent establishments that attract local taxation. Local servers and representatives do not represent permanent establishments. Online gambling operators' monthly license maintenance fee is 20% of the gross gaming revenue and commission.
Since the Gambling Act of 2012 was adopted, there have been minimal developments related to the gambling laws. Some of the results were on a case-by-case basis, primarily related to enhancing the gambling regulations.
Currently, there are no significant reforms or developments related to the legal framework of gambling in Bulgaria planned. There was an amendments bill to the Gambling Act filed in 2018, which aimed to restrict gambling operators to selling tickets and scratch cards only at specified locations and introduce limitations to advertising gambling games. The parliament never processed the bill further, and it remains unclear whether it will pass it into law in the future.