The Bulgarian government is considering lowering taxes on gambling in order to attract foreign operators to the country, according to multiple reports this week.
The news comes after criticism regarding the current gambling tax rate of 15% of total turnover, resulting in gambling operators fleeing the country to provide their services offshore. eGamingReview reports that lawmakers are discussing a move toward a tax system based on gross gambling revenue.
"The present taxation regime on Internet gambling needs to be liberalized in a way that will attract foreign registered operators to register themselves in Bulgaria and pay their taxes here," said Yordan Tsonev, chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria legalized online gambling in 2012, but it took until this year to adopt an online gambling tax rate. Bulgaria also instituted a new licensing law for online gambling operators, and as a result, access has been blocked to more than 150 non-authorized websites. Among those websites are PokerStars.com, PokerStars.bg, FullTiltPoker.com, PartyPoker.com, and WilliamHill.com.
Experts aren't expecting companies to apply for a license until the tax rate is lowered.
Only one online operator, Malta-based Eurofootball, has received a license to offer gambling in the country. Eurofootball is centered on sports betting and partially owned by Bulgarian billionaire Vasil Krumov Bozhkov.
For more on the online gambling sitation in Bulgaria, check out Robbie Davies' op-ed here at PokerNews.com.