Gambling Tax Set to Greatly Boost Bulgarian Budget in 2024

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The Bulgarian gambling sector is expected to contribute a BGN200 million (roughly £88 million) to the national budget in 2024.

This prediction comes from the country’s finance ministry, which anticipates significant capital investments to achieve this goal. The country’s State Gazette reported the development and finance minister Asen Vassilev’s detailed plans for capital spending.

Changes to Bulgaria’s Gambling Taxation

The gambling industry has been a lucrative source for Bulgaria’s state budget, contributing over BGN300m in taxes and fees in the past two years. To boost this further, the Bulgarian government is revising its tax structure. The cost for obtaining a gambling license has seen a sharp rise, now 300% higher than before. Additionally, the tax on gambling income has increased from 15% to 20%.

This significant rise in costs has sparked a debate. The Association of the Gaming Industry in Bulgaria (AGIB) has expressed strong opposition to these hikes, deeming them excessively high. However, Minister Vassilev maintains that these changes will not prevent the gambling industry’s growth.

Related: Gambling Tax Increase Proposed by Swedish Government

Changes to Regulatory Framework in 2023

In 2023, Bulgaria strengthened its measures regarding gambling regulation. The National Revenue Agency (NRA) established a new unit dedicated to anti-money laundering (AML). This move followed warnings from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that it may increase its scrutiny of the Bulgarian gambling industry.

The AML unit has implemented several measures, including customer verification processes, document collection, and the development of risk assessments for money laundering and terrorist financing.

The changes were made after a 2020 risk assessment, which highlighted failings in various sectors. The AML unit operates under the NRA, which assumed responsibility for gambling regulation in 2020 after the dissolution of the State Commission on Gambling.

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