October 9, 2023
The National Revenue Agency (NRA) of Bulgaria has embarked on an enforcement campaign by blocking over 150 unlicensed gambling websites from accessing the country's iGaming space. The regulatory body reported that a significant proportion of illicit online gaming platforms operate under licenses issued by governments outside the European Union.
NRA refrained from disclosing specific information regarding the websites it had restricted. However, it emphasized that it would promptly stop access to domains found to be in violation within three days.
Suppose the websites remain accessible beyond the designated period, NRA will notify Bulgaria's High Court to seek an injunction requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict access to those casinos.
Recently, the NRA adopted a more stringent position toward illicit internet gambling, implementing additional anti-money laundering (AML) measures and regulatory obligations for authorized gambling sites.
After undergoing a MONEYVAL evaluation in August, NRA established a new branch, "Prevention and Counter Action Against Money Laundering." This division has been responsible for overseeing gaming transactions and conducting audits on the financial records of registered providers of casino games.
The regulator notified operators in Bulgaria of the necessary requirements to transition their server protocols to 'NIS ordnance' by 1 October, emphasizing the need for compliance.
The legislation about Anti-Money Laundering Protective Measures (APM) stipulates that the NRA is responsible for overseeing the regulatory compliance of all authorized gaming operators in the European nation.
In June, Bulgaria successfully resolved its prolonged political impasse by electing Nikolay Denkov of the Change Party as the head of government, with the support of two-thirds of the MPs. Due to a series of four consecutive general elections within 18 months, Bulgaria has encountered political instability, which has necessitated a postponement of its intended timeline for Euro adoption as a prospective member state.
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