Bulgarian Cabinet Backs Bill Banning Private Lottery Games

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Bulgarian Cabinet has given its backing to the gambling bill banning private lottery games.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said that Bulgaria would be imposing a state monopoly, rather than nationalise existing companies.

One of the largest private lottery operators in Bulgaria, National Lottery, said in a statement on its site that “the nationalisation of private business is an unacceptable precedent that will lead to irreversible consequences for the state, legislative and executive branches.”

Goranov said that the change would bring increased revenue, as well as support Bulgarian sport. State lottery operator Bulgarian Sport Totalisator is required by law to pay out a significant part of its revenue to the Sports Ministry, which then allocates the money to individual sport federations.

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“The market should not be growing for the sake of it, because in gambling, one’s spending is another’s revenue. We witness how with their last money, especially at petrol stations and it is staggering, people re-fuel for 10 leva and spend 20 leva on gambling,” Goranov said.

Goranov also said that he would, separately from the bill in Parliament, put forward a proposal to restructure the State Gambling Commission, after an analysis by the finance ministry showed that the gambling regulator “made contradictory decisions over the years, which shows that there are accumulated faults that must be fixed.”

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