Cards in Bulgaria: Laws, Taxation and Best Places to Play
Visit Bulgaria for a gamble and you’ll be relatively safe, as far as abiding by the law is concerned. Gambling has been legal in Bulgaria since the 1990s, although the regulation of online gambling didn’t come in until the introduction of The Gambling Act of 2012 (Gambling Act), which meant that the activity had been illegal until that point. It means that if you enjoy playing poker, you can play to your hearts content in the poker rooms of the country’s casinos. Bulgaria has 27 casinos and 876 gaming halls, with most of these being in the capital, Sofia, and in touristic spots such as Varna and Sunny Beach.
Gambling laws and taxation
What you might not realize is that running a casino is an expensive endeavor in Bulgaria because the casinos must pay a hefty 20% of the proceeds from the rake. Under previous tax laws, however, the taxation was even heftier, and casinos would have to increase the rake by a whopping 400% to make up for the taxation — which would have gamblers simply running for the hills.
That increase is just by 20% now, thanks to the change in laws which came about in 2014, and operating poker rooms, and casinos in general, is more profitable. The tax cuts have even persuaded some (online) casino operators to relocate to Bulgaria. These adjustments suit the Bulgarian government, too: in the first nine months of 2018, they collected 174.4 million Bulgarian Lev ($99, 994, 043.28), which is 30 million more than at the same point in 2017. The chairman of the Bulgarian Association of Producers and Organizers of the Gaming Industry (BTAPOI) stated that 28.5 million Lev came from online gaming operators.
The State Commission of Gambling Bulgaria is responsible for regulating gambling in the country, and this includes poker, a game which, in the eyes of the law, is a casino game and falls under the category of casino gaming. Operators require a license to offer any form of gambling legally. The State forbids gambling in public buildings and no one can enter a casino to play if they are drunk or in a uniform. They must also have ID to enter.
Playing poker in Bulgaria
If you’re going to travel all the way to Bulgaria and experience the joys of its poker rooms, you should educate yourself on how to play and the differing poker hands which make it the exciting game it is. Poker is taken very seriously in some casinos, so if you aren’t prepared, you can expect to be caught short.
You’ll find 50 poker tables operating in Bulgaria, which are spread out across 11 different poker rooms. Here are some of the best places to play poker in Bulgaria, starting with…
Royale Palms Casino
The Royale Palms Casino is located in Sofia and is as plush as it sounds. The casino offers a range of casino games and has 10 poker tables. It’s open 24 hours a day and offers several variations of poker so that guests can play the game that suits them. Texas Hold’em poker, Caribbean poker, Novo poker, Russian poker and Three-Card poker are all available to play live. If you don’t fancy poker, the casino operates other casino classics, such as blackjack and roulette, or you can try your luck on one or more of over 80 different slot machines.
International Hotel Casino and Tower Suites
Situated in the Golden Sands resort, Varna, in the south east of Bulgaria, International Hotel Casino and Tower Suites features five-star accommodation and some serious poker. The casino has a private poker room on the mezzanine level and the casino has its own poker club, the International poker club, which runs daily poker tournaments, regular cash games and international poker events. Visitors can also play more one or more of over 100 slot machine games, including classic slots.
If you’re a member of the Players Club, you can earn points on video poker or electronic roulette. If you hand your card to the dealer at the beginning of the game, you can also receive points, depending on the game, the length of the game and the amount you bet. You can exchange the points for hotel and casino services or for credits on the slots.
Platinum Hotel and Casino
Platinum Hotel and Casino is an inviting four-star facility in Sunny Beach, which lies almost 96 kilometers south of Varna. Guests who stay at the hotel have the pleasure of being right next to the beach, so they can fit in plenty of relaxation before a big night out at the casino. The spacious casino features more than 30 games tables and gives you the platinum treatment with a poker room where you can play Texas Hold’em or Omaha poker. Classic table games are available, too, and the casino has a variety of traditional slots and video slots. On some games you can play for just a cent!
Changes in Bulgarian gambling laws and taxation ones have made playing poker for money a real option now. It’s an arrangement that suits citizens and visitors alike, allowing them to gamble and enjoy an extra form of leisure, while the Bulgarian can gather sizable revenue as a result. Despite some of the expense, casino operators in Bulgaria will also be happy with these developments which can help them to increase their profits. Everyone has won.
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