Bulgaria Shows ‘Early Success’ in Raising Revenue from Online Gaming
‘Reasonable’ licensing fees and taxes and liberal legislation are key to Bulgaria’s ‘early success’ in generating revenue from online gaming, an industry insider has opined.
In an article titled “Bulgaria's Gaming Revenues Show Good Approach To Online Poker Regulation” and posted on pokernews.com Jason Glatzer wrote that in its half-year report Bulgaria’s State Commission on Gambling (SCG) has announced BGN 29.91 M (EUR 15 M) in total gaming revenue from fees, taxes, fines, and penalties.
Considering that the regulator issued the first gaming license to PokerStars only in February this year and Betfair received its license soon afterwards, and having in mind that SCG’s expenses for the same period were just BGN 688,339, the revenue was almost entirely profit, the author said.
The results supports the optimism of Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communication at PokerSrats’owner Rational Group, who had said back in February that Bulgaria’s online gaming market was “full of promise”.
"We believe in the potential of the Bulgarian market and that is why our company has invested in the local license," Hollreiser said when announcing the launch of what was then the only legal poker website available to Bulgarian players. "Regulation provides peace of mind for players and ensures that local regulators can protect consumers and collect much-needed revenue."
Because Bulgaria hadn’t decided to close its market like other European countries such as France or Italy, with the launch of PokerStars.bg, Bulgarian players were given the opportunity to legally join the poker room’s international player base and compete against other players from all over the world, Glatzer explained.
In addition, Bulgaria’s decisions to keep the price of online gaming licenses at a ‘reasonable’ level of BGN 50,000 and cut gaming taxes to 15% of turnover from 20% have also helped the country report good revenue from online gaming, the author opined.
“Perhaps other countries can learn from Bulgaria's recent success to turn the trends of declining gaming revenues in their favor,” Glatzer concluded.
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