Russia’s State Duma Approves Overhaul of Sports Betting Laws

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The Bulgarian legislature has approved the second reading of a bill that aims to abolish Bulgaria’s existing gambling regulator and hand its duties to the National Revenue Agency, as well as to introduce new capital requirements for licensees.

Bill 054-01-51 to Amend and Supplement the Gambling Act was introduced in June and approved by the Committee on Budgets and Finance, the Committee on Culture and the Media, the Committee on Children, Youth and Sport and the Committee on Budgets and Finance before being adopted on its first reading on 17 June.

Initially, the bill planned on creating a new regulator, the State Gambling Agency, which would be a new specialised body within the country’s Council of Ministers. However, it was amended by various members of the party GERB to instead allow the National Revenue Agency to take over this role.

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It was then approved at its second reading on July 23, sending it to President Rumen Radev.

“The changes are aimed at clarifying the status of the gambling regulator and ensuring transparency in its work, which, in turn, will lead to optimisation and increase the quality of its activities,” one of the bill’s sponsors, Alexander Ivanov, said in a committee hearing.

The bill also sets out new capital requirements for licensees after an amendment put forward by Valeri Simeonov. This includes a BGN1m capital requirement for slot licensees, a BGN1.5m requirement for casino licensees and a BGN3m requirement for those offering online gambling.

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