Bulgaria is one of the countries with a burgeoning gambling industry with innumerable enthusiastic players. As this industry grows, the government has decided to take measures to ensure its citizens gamble safely and wisely. Rather than banning wagering, it has come up with methods to assist players to self-regulate their gambling activities through the National Revenue Agency (NRA).
In late 2022, Bulgaria launched its national self-exclusion program. This program allows gamblers from Bulgaria to exclude themselves from wagering for two or more years. The NRA invites citizens who believe they have a gambling problem or high-risk customers to shield themselves from gambling by registering with the NRA.
To carry out this registration process, you must fill out and send a document to the NRA’s official email address or visit the NRA office to fill it. You can also visit the NRA’s official website and learn more about the self-exclusion program as well as see how the register will affect you.
As time passes, the NRA list of self-excluded people keeps on growing. The recent data depicts that some 11,500 people are now prohibited from gambling. This figure was generated from the data collected in June 2023. It also represents a considerable growth from April’s 7000 self-excluded persons.
NRA (National Revenue Agency) is a Bulgarian governmental agency accountable for regulating gambling activities. Recently, it has been given the mandate to implement and oversee the self-exclusion program for individuals struggling with gambling issues. This agency plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the self-exclusion system by ensuring that those who have voluntarily decided to exclude themselves from gambling are effectively protected.
Apart from the self-exclusion program, the NRA is also responsible for ensuring that casinos are operating within the legal frameworks and guidelines established by the government. They also make sure that casinos operate ethically and promote socially responsible gambling activities. Fortunately, top-rated high roller casinos such as North Casino, Hell Spin and Great Win always operate within the laws of the jurisdiction in which they offer their games. This means they, too, must comply with industry standards set by regulatory bodies like eCOGRA.
The consequences for any gambling company that infringes on this directive are severe. Any gambling company that hires self-excluded people will be fined between 5,000 to 20,000 Bulgarian Leva (approximately $2,800 to $11,250). The fines also apply if any wagering company allows self-excluded people to enter their premises.
Besides the self-excluded individuals, this rule also applies to minors, uniformed and armed personnel, those without an ID, and those intoxicated with drugs and alcohol. Such people aren’t allowed to wager in Bulgaria.
Self-excluded individuals can’t regulate their gambling activities. Therefore, that responsibility will have to fall on the gambling operators. Usually, when an individual signs up in the NRA register, the agency enforces their self-exclusion across different gambling platforms. They do this by issuing the National Register to all gambling operators who are NRA members. Afterwards, the gambling operators are responsible for ensuring that all the people who appear in the National Register can not get employment in their establishment nor allowed to play their games.
Bulgaria’s government’s move to prohibit self-excluded people from wagering or working in gambling companies benefits both the citizens and the gaming industry. It cushions the gambling sector from being banned or badly tainted due to players’ related problems. More importantly, it gives all players control of their gambling activities. As long as you are featured on the NRA list, no matter what you do, you cannot gamble or get employment in wagering firms.
Here are the benefits of this ban for Bulgarian players.
- The ban centres on free will because every gambler is responsible for registering themselves at the NRA office. Since no one is coerced to register, the ban is poised to help all those who deem themselves vulnerable.
- Once you successfully registered on the NRA list, you will hand over your control over gambling to the government. The government, through gambling operators, will ensure that you don’t engage in wagering for at least 2 years.
- This ban provides a haven for all Bulgarian players. You can be sure that the government can intervene whenever you need assistance to stop wagering.
- The NRA provides no loopholes to allow self-excluded people to play while their names feature on the list. Once you are identified as a self-excluded individual, every gambling facility will deny you entry.
- Gambling operators cannot risk infringing the ban because it risks their license and reputation. They will also pay hefty fines for making such an error.
- The ban keeps self-excluded people from the temptation to gamble. For instance, banning them from working in casinos or wagering sites keeps them from the temptation to wager.
The gaming market in Bulgaria looks very promising, especially after the government implemented the self-exclusion ban. This strategic move has prompted both local and international gambling companies to explore opportunities for expanding their offering of popular casino games within this Balkan country. Moreover, the availability of many players makes Bulgaria a hotbed for gaming. We can anticipate that the gambling industry in Bulgaria is poised to grow to unprecedented levels.