|Controversial proposals that would have altered the tax structure for gaming in Bulgaria are at a standstill after lawmakers criticised and then rejected amendments from the nation’s Cabinet.|
The proposals would have changed the current law and seen betting firms pay a flat tax of just ten percent on profits. Companies in the Eastern European nation currently pay a tax of ten percent on turnover and the amendments sparked heated debate in Parliament.
The Finance Ministry stated that the proposals would increase revenues for the State Lottery and State Raffle, which are used to subsidise Bulgarian athletes. However, dissent centred around two private firms, the Eurochance lottery and bookmakers Eurofootball, which also would have benefited from the proposed amendments. Both of these businesses are owned by Bulgaria's richest man, Vassil Bozhkov, and opposition politicians accused the Socialist-led Cabinet of lobbying for private interests. Even Bulgaria’s Socialist President, Georgi Parvanov, blasted the proposals and stated that he would have vetoed the amended bill if it had passed.