Stoke-on-Trent-based online gaming operator Bet365 has applied for a Bulgarian e-gaming operating license with the Bulgarian State Gambling Commission (SGC). The group hopes now to become the sixth regulated license holder in the country.
If approved, Bet365's application would give the room the opportunity to get a chunk of Bulgaria's online poker action, even if it would mean competing against other license holders like PokerStars and Betfair.
While Bet365 may be behind the market leaders in poker, once it obtains a regular license to operate in Bulgaria it could instantly get a leading position in the betting business, becoming the country's biggest legalized sportsbook.
A major issue in Bulgaria, however, is the plethora of 'grey sites' still operating within the country that the SGC continuously tried to block.
On May 23, 2014, Bulgaria's authority on gambling released the latest update of its blacklist. The the inclusion of sites such as casinoluck.com, nextcasino.com, euroslots.com, whitebet.com, and heypoker.com brings the total to 150 blacklisted websites.
Bet365, which currently finds itself on the blacklist, is hoping to find a way out of it with and be viewable by Bulgarian residents again after the obtainment of a state-issued license
At the start of the year the Bulgarian Parliament amended the Gambling Act to a new tax scheme deemed to be more advantageous to gaming operators in hopes of bringing more companies and more overall revenue to the re-regulated Bulgarian market. Prior to this change there was only one regulated site in Bulgaria - Eurofootball.
The tax rules changed from a 15% tax on total gambling turnover to a more attractive 20% of gross monthly profits, plus a one-time license fee of BGN100K (€51K). The move has already had an affect with more than a handful of e-gaming operators trying to reenter this revamped market.
Stay tuned to PokerNews as more develops with Bet365's license application and with the Bulgarian regulated e-gaming market.
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