April 24, 2024 2 min read


Bulgaria Mulls over Gambling Ad Ban

MP Tsonev elaborated that billboard ads would still be permitted, provided they are not in the vicinity of schools

Bulgarian MPs have proposed new changes to the country’s Gambling Act several weeks after shooting down a proposal that sought to reduce problem gambling via changes to the gambling advertising regulations.

The latest proposal, sponsored by GERB-UDF and the Movement for Rights and Freedom (MRF/DPS), seeks to introduce a blanket ban on gambling ads. The measure, according to MRF’s Yordan Tsonev, would ban ads across all types of media.

Tsonev elaborated that billboard ads would still be permitted, provided they are not in the vicinity of schools. Under the newly proposed measure, ads on sports equipment for adults and across sports halls would also be allowed.

An additional change outlined in the new proposal would limit gambling halls to settlements with over 5,000 residents.

GERB-UDF MP Temenouzhka Petkova explained that the new proposal seeks to protect the public interest.

An Earlier Ad Proposal Failed to Gain Traction

As mentioned, GERB and MRF’s new proposal comes a few weeks after the two parties rejected an earlier appeal to change how gambling advertisement is regulated in the country.

The earlier proposal was sponsored by Kostadin Kostadinov of Vazrazhdane and backed by BSP for Bulgaria, There Is Such a People (ITN). Kostadinov argued that excessive gambling advertising is hurting society and exposing vulnerable people to harm. He called gambling a “disease” and claimed that addiction affects a whopping one in three families in Bulgaria.

Kostadinov’s measure also envisioned strict fines for violators.

However, GERB representatives argued that Vazrazhdane’s bull would hurt municipal sporting institutions, depriving them of important revenue. Lyuben Dilov MP also argued that simply banning ads isn’t going to make problem gamblers’ addictions go away.

In the end, Kostadinov’s measure failed to gain sufficient traction.

Earlier this year, the National Revenue Agency (NRA), the body responsible for regulating gambling in the country, reported that it had identified and blocked over 600 unlicensed gambling websites in the last three months of 2023 alone.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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