The National Revenue Agency (NRA) of Bulgaria has ordered gambling companies that operate in the country to suspend self-excluded employees from entering gambling halls and casinos across the country.
Under the latest update provided by the agency, which is the government department that oversees gambling in Bulgaria, employers that violate this rule will be handed out a fine of BGN20,000 as stated in the country’s law. The announcement has come in the wake of some inquiries into whether employers are allowed to hire people who have banned themselves from gambling by becoming part of the country’s self-exclusion register.
The National Revenue Agency explained that gambling operators targeting Bulgarian customers are obliged to comply with the Gambling Act when it comes to hiring self-excluded individuals, even if the person is working at the company’s premises rather than playing at a gambling venue.
Currently, the gambling law in Bulgaria suspends people who are on the register from entering a casino or a gaming hall in the country. Apart from that, people under the age of 18, people who wear uniforms or who are armed are banned from entering such venues. People who fail to identify themselves by presenting an ID or anyone who seems to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs are also not permitted into Bulgarian casinos and gaming halls.
Bulgarian Self-Exclusion Register Already Used by More Than 11,500 People
After experiencing a two-year interruption as a result of legislative changes, the self-exclusion list in Bulgaria resumed operation as of the middle of December 2022.
The country provides anyone who is willing to ban themselves from gambling with the chance to sign up for the list and choose a specific period in which their access to gambling services will be blocked. The minimum self-exclusion period is two years. People can apply for the agency to take their name out of the list before this period but in order for the self-exclusion limitations to be officially dropped, the NRA’s executive director must give their approval.
For the time being, the list is not public and is accessible to only a limited number of individuals at the National Revenue Agency. The full list can also be accessed by gambling companies that operate in the country.
The gambling market of Bulgaria has made the country an attractive destination for international gambling operators and gambling software providers, with the number of companies willing to expand their footprint in the country constantly rising.
As revealed by the Bulgarian Government in April 2023, a total of 7,200 people had applied to be included in the list since December 2022, when the country relaunched its national self-exclusion program. Based on some data collected in June 2023, the number of self-excluded gamblers in the country already amounts to 11,500.