|Officials from Bulgaria’s State Commission on Gambling (SCG) are meeting with representatives from the gambling industry, academics and members of the Chief Directorate for Combating Organised Crime (CDCOC) to find ways of creating a more efficient and beneficial approach for online and tourism gambling.|
According to a piece in the Sophia Echo newspaper, the goal of the meetings is to suggest amendments to existing laws on gambling in the Eastern European nation.
Dimitar Terziev, Chairman for SCG, stated that amendments in the gambling law would deal with three aspects: text message games, online bets and illegal gambling. He said that the world’s approach to online betting varied from total bans to total legalisation but that, in his opinion, Bulgaria should find a middle ground.
Terziev said that one of the basic weaknesses in Bulgaria’s current law is that there is no regulation on organising gambling games over the Internet and that his department would insist on the introduction of a permit requirement for text message games.
“Gambling tourism is a resource Bulgaria has not exploited and a national gambling development programme needs to be drawn up as part of the tourism industry,” said Atanas Kunchev, Deputy Finance Minister for Bulgaria.
Kunchev also stated that gambling needed a national information system and well-trained staff and proposed that master's programmes on gambling management be set up.
According to official figures released by the Government, taxes paid by the organisers of gambling games amounted to $54.5 million for 2006 with income from fees and fines amounting to $3.1 million for the last two years.