Main Casino Licenses (57) State gambling Commission of Bulgaria

Online Casino Licence in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria the State Gambling Commission (SGC) is the State gambling regulator and is subordinate to the Ministry of Finance. The rules for organising games and requirements for licensees are set out in the Gambling Act that was last updated on the 21st of February 2020. The Gambling Act is also available in English but this version is outdated as it only shows the amendments up to 2006.

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An online casino licence can be obtained if the website offers the following types of gambling activities:

  • traditional lotteries
  • number lotteries, lotto, bingo, keno and their variations
  • sports betting, horse racing or dog racing
  • bets on events that are random or related to knowledge of facts
  • slot machines
  • casino games

To obtain a licence from SGC to open an online casino the organisation must be one of the following:

  • registered in the Republic of Bulgaria
  • based in a Country within the European Union (EU)
  • based in a Country in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • a member of the Swiss Confederation (CC)

Licences are issued to joint stock companies with registered shares or limited liability companies. The licence is only valid for use within the Republic of Bulgaria.

A license for the right to provide online gambling services is issued for up to 5 years. However, operators who have proven to have invested over 2 million BGN on an online platform can obtain a permit to operate for 10 years.

Service providers also need to obtain licences to supply software, manufacture, import, distribute or service the gaming equipment of licence holders.

Jurisdiction and Authority

The State Commission on Gambling (SGC) was established to regulate gambling activities in Bulgaria and ensure compliance with the Gambling Act. They monitor the activity of gambling games organisers, producers of gambling game equipment and companies that distribute, service, maintain and repair gambling equipment.

How to Get an Online Casino Licence in Bulgaria

To obtain a licence, applicants must:

  1. Submit an application to the Commission in writing or electronically.
  2. Fill in the application corresponding to the selected type of gambling activity.
  3. Attach copies of notarized documents, in accordance with the requirements of Article 6 (1) of the Gambling Act confirming:
  4. the Company, Owners or Managers have not had administrative penalties over the past 5 years
  5. location of company servers in Bulgaria, EU, ESP or SK
  6. a registered bank account with a financial institution subject to the Laws of the Republic of Bulgaria
  7. availability of a visitor identification system that stores and transfers the necessary information to the Commission and the National Revenue Agency in real time
  8. software verification and SGC approval
  9. the ability to track and store for 12 months IP addresses, geographic location, dates and times of sessions and data on visitors' transactions

Application forms and a list of required documents can be found on the SCG website.

Foreign companies must have an official representative in the country, acting on the basis of a notarized power of attorney.

Verification and consideration of the application must be completed within 60 days from the date of receipt of the application. However, in cases of particular factual and legal complexity, the Commission's decision may be postponed for a maximum of 30 days starting from the date the applicant receives a letter of notification about the need to correct deficiencies and provide additional information.

License Fees

Licence fees are dependent on the type of gambling activities that will be offered.

Traditional and number lotteries, sports betting, event betting 40,000
Slot Machines 15,000
Casino 70,000

When applying for a licence electronically, an additional fee of 95% of the value of the down payment needs to be paid.

A state fee of 100 thousand Bulgarian Lev needs to be paid for the licence to be issued.

Tax Rates

Licensees must pay taxes annually:

  1. 20% of all bets received and paid
  2. For games requiring commissions or participation fees, the licensee pays 20% of all fees

Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax are 10% each.

Every year holders of online casino licences need to pay 50,000 Bulgarian Lev towards the development of the social sphere.

Return to Player

According to the legislation, the software of slot machines with online bets must provide a return of at least 80% of the player's bets.

Traditional or digital lottery winnings must be at least 50% of the total value of all tickets issued.

Player Protection and Arbitration

The SGC takes measures to protect the rights of players and enforces the rules of responsible gambling.

The online resource should:

  • provide information about the organisation (including identification code)
  • display their licence number
  • list detailed rules of the games
  • have a clear and unambiguous procedure for placing bets, forming and paying out winnings

The licensee is required to provide contact information and describe the process for how players can file a complaint. Players need to send complaints directly to the licence holder.

Once the complaint has been received a responsible employee of the licensee (Manager) must draw up a report, indicating:

  1. The address of the gambling establishment and information about the organiser.
  2. The subject of the dispute.
  3. Accumulated premium jackpot of gambling entertainment.
  4. Personal data of the player and Manager.
  5. Signatures of the Head of the Company and the participant of the game.
  6. Compilation date.

The report needs to be sent to the player and a copy to the Commission. Within three days of receiving the report the player has the right to file a written complaint against the licensee with the SGC.

Once the SGC has considered the complaint, they must inform the player and the licence holder of their decision in writing.

Which games cannot be played online in Bulgaria?

Instant lotteries cannot be operated digitally. All other types of gambling are allowed.

Can the documents attached to a licence application that has already been submitted to the Commission be corrected or supplemented?

Yes. If the documents are incomplete, do not meet mandatory requirements, or require completion, the SGC will notify the applicant within 14 days of receiving the request. The applicant has 30 days to eliminate violations, inaccuracies or provide additional information.

Can I appeal the decision of the SGC?

Yes. Within 14 days, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision of the SGC to the Administrative Court of Sofia.