Bulgaria flags down more than 150 illegal gaming websites in September

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Bulgaria’s National Revenue Agency (NRA) has published a statement confirming that since the beginning of September, more than 150 gambling websites have been flagged down as illegal due to missing licences.

The Eastern European state revamped its gambling regulatory framework back in 2020 by putting the NRA as the ultimate authority for supervision over gambling activity, making it the watchdog’s duty to hand out licences to operators as well. 

Exercising its newly-established powers, the regulatory body recently released a statement confirming that more than 150 gaming websites have been ordered to cease operations by a direct order from the General Director of the NRA

The majority of these firms were licenced to operate in countries outside of the EU but lacked the necessary permissions to be active in Bulgaria. 

Issued on 26 September, the NRA’s statement gives the websites three days to comply with the order, otherwise it will take the matter to court, after which magistrates will request all internet service providers in the country to cease access to the blacklisted gaming websites and their domains.  

The NRA additionally reminds the public that it frequently updates its website where users can find a list of unregulated gaming websites as per the Bulgarian Gambling Act, and that should a person be able to access any of the listed websites they should immediately report this to the NRA via [email protected] by including the domain in question and the internet provider used to gain access. 

Bulgaria has taken a firmer stance in the last few years to protect its gambling sector against money laundering, having recently concluded a joint collaboration with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and European AML watchdog MONEYVAL that ended in drafting stricter requirements for licenced operators in the country to flag down and report any suspicious activity.