April 27, 2023 3 min read


7,000 People Register with Bulgarian Gambling Self-Exclusion Program

The program launched in mid-December and was admittedly late in comparison to other regulated gambling markets in the European Union

The country’s regulator, the National Revenue Agency (NRA), hopes that the program can help vulnerable and at-risk gamblers use the self-exclusion program to steer clear from harmful gambling practices.

Registrations Top 1,700 People Per Month Since December

The fact that 7,000 people have registered since December, though is worrying and points to a deeper problem with the way the country has conducted itself insofar as the gambling sector is concerned.

For one, with a rate of nearly 1,700 registrations per month, there has been a pent-up demand for self-exclusion with a little part on the government to provide consumers with the means. Some have grumbled in private that well-connected lobbyists have made sure to delay regulatory changes as local companies are generating a hefty revenue from vulnerable gamblers.

This argument seems cogent given that most other European markets have been seeing much fewer registrations on a monthly basis, although GAMSTOP, the UK-based self-exclusion program topped 8,000 registrations in March. Regardless, it’s not all bad news. The NRA has addressed privacy concerns by ensuring that the self-exclusion list is only accessible to a handful of employees at the agency and the people who register can rest assured their data is protected.

Privacy Concerns, Blanket Blocks, Lack of Treatment Options

The NRA did suffer from a massive breach that leaked the personal and business information of every adult in the country in 2019, a breach that has not been properly investigated to this day. In any event, Bulgaria is not all bad when it comes to gambling. The country has been applying an ISP ban against offshore and unlicensed operators for many years now, with its telecoms complying with a list handed down by the NRA and other institutions.

In November 2022, the NRA blocked 130 illegal gambling sites, and the agency has been generally moving much quicker than its counterparts in Australia, where the Australian Communications and Media Authority has been going at a robust but admittedly slower pace. However, a simple search of the Bulgarian Internet shows a striking lack of awareness of treatment options or organizations that work to help consumers overcome this problem.

The state budget does not seem to be putting down money to treat gambling addicts or indeed understand the economic costs of the issue. The fact that so many people have registered should ring some bells that a closer scrutiny of the problem may be necessary.

Another glaring omission is the fact that in terms of regulation, the advertisement of gambling products in public spaces is prohibited, and yet gambling advertisement is ubiquitous through ill-defined loopholes that have not been examined in years.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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