Bulgarian lawmaker introduces bill to ban private lotteries

27 January 2020

Bulgarian legislator Valeri Simenov, a member of the National Front for Salvation Party, has introduced a bill that would ban private lotteries in the country and restrict the operation of lotteries to a government-owned monopoly.

Simeonov introduced an amendment to the country’s 2012 Gambling Act which would allow only the Bulgarian Sports Totalizator (BST) to organise lotteries in Bulgaria. However, raffle, bingo and keno games will all be able to be organised privately.

The licences for all private lottery games would be terminated three months after the bill is passed, at which point private operators must withdraw from the market.

In addition, the bill would require the BST managing authorities to be jointly appointed by the Minister of Youth and Sports and the Minister of Finance.

Besides Simoeonov, the bill has been sponsored by Hristian Mitev, Petar Petrov, Rosen Ivanov, Boris Yachev, Slavcho Atanasov and Yordan Apostolov, all of whom are members of nationalist electoral alliance United Patriots with Simeonov.

The bill will be examined by the Committee on Budgets and Finance before it may be see a vote in the National Assembly of Bulgaria. The Committee on Children, Youth and Sports and the Committee on Education and Science are also participating in the scrutiny of the bill.

In April 2019, Alexander Georgiev was appointed as the new chairman of Bulgaria's State Commission on Gambling, having previously served as deputy director of the Bulgarian National Tax Agency since May 2017.