SBC News Bulgaria’s ban on gambling ads enters State Gazette
Shutterstock

Bulgaria’s ban on gambling ads enters State Gazette

The changes to Bulgaria’s Gambling Act are now officially a law starting from today. 

Businesses were previously notified that they would have three days to adapt accordingly after the changes are published in the State Gazette, which happened this Tuesday after a sign off by Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.

The new legislation represents the country’s biggest gambling market overhaul in nearly a decade, with the main highlight being the ban on gambling advertisements. 

In recent years, gambling companies enjoyed an almost unlimited freedom to advertise their products however they like, including during primetime TV broadcasts. 

With the new texts now officially part of Bulgaria’s legislative framework , the ability to promote gambling offerings will be scaled back significantly starting from today. 

Outdoors, gambling providers can now only advertise on billboards, with the inclusion of numbers and bonus promotions explicitly restricted to avoid “enticing players”. 

From today, ads are also forbidden from being shown on TV, radio, print and online platforms. Compliance with this rule will be overseen by Bulgaria’s media watchdog, the Council for Electronic Media. If a violation is found, the Council will notify the country’s gambling regulator, the National Revenue Agency (NRA), to impose penalties where needed. 

Some of the biggest media companies in Bulgaria voiced their concerns about the new legislation, arguing that the ban of gambling ads will significantly undercut their budget, therefore affecting viewers’ content. 

SBC News has been closely following the rapid development of the topic.

A draft first appeared at the start of April when it failed to win over the majority vote in the National Assembly. 

Then, another draft appeared at the end of the month, this time rewritten and put forward by a different political party, which successfully managed to push it through first reading. 

The bill then also passed second reading, winning an overwhelming majority with 0 votes against it. It was then handed over to President Radev for review, who published it into the Gazette on Tuesday. 

The three articles linked above are in chronological order to provide context, and offer a more detailed look over all of the significant changes that the gambling market in Bulgaria will face from today.

Check Also

SBC News Bulgaria proposes ad-ban, social tax and civic limits to gambling overhaul

Bulgaria proposes ad-ban, social tax and civic limits to gambling overhaul

At today’s emergency meeting held by the Budget and Finance Commission, attending MPs approved the …

SBC News Proposal to ban gambling ads ahead of Bulgaria elections

Proposal to ban gambling ads ahead of Bulgaria elections

A new bill to amend the Gambling Act has been proposed by Bulgaria’s biggest political …

SBC News Bulgaria votes against gambling act amendments

Bulgaria votes against gambling act amendments

As an unusual April heatwave engulfs the streets of Bulgaria’s capital, passing by the doors …