Bulgaria: Bulgaria In A Hunt For Unlicenced Gambling Websites

The latest round of additions to Bulgaria's blacklist of unlicensed gambling sites has added a total of ten domains in the latest update, taking the total number of sites to be blocked in Bulgaria to 323, since the introduction of the blacklist in June last year.

After having two more domains blacklisted in September by Bulgaria's gambling regulator the State Commission on Gambling (SCG), the Gibraltar licensed bet365 has seen its 28-365365.com site added, making it one of the most regularly-featured remote gaming companies on the list.

Of the latest additions, Digimedia is one of the most notable. Digimedia, a Malta-licensed operator, has seen its Europa Palace site blacklisted. It is the company's second domain to be added, after the MajorTomCasino.com site was banned in October this year, with thirteen of its sites having also been blacklisted by Latvia's regulator, the Lotteries and Gambling Supervision Inspection (IAUI).

Stanjamesbet.com became the Gibraltar-based operator's second website to be added after Stanjames.com was blacklisted in July last year. It is joined by 32Red's Dash Casino and Nedplay brands, with the operator's 32Red.com and sports betting, bingo and poker domains already listed. The four sites were added in January this year. The Nedplay brand was acquired in January 2010, with the Microgaming-powered site originally licensed in Kahnawake. Dash Casino is positioned as 32Red's sister casino, although since launching in 2006, it has failed to become as prominent as its core brand.

Centurionbet's Bet1128.com domain has been added alongside RooBet.com, a site operated by Plus 5 Gaming as a white label for Maverick, a company headquartered in London.

Another two sites, SlottyVegas.com and CasinoCruise.com, are both licensed by Malta's Lotteries and Gaming Authority. SlottyVegas is owned by a company called NRR Entertainment, and features Microgaming software, while CasinoCruise is operated and managed by software provider EveryMatrix.

A number of Apollo's brands, Luxury Casino, Blackjack Ballroom and Zodiac Casino, have already seen their domains added to the country's blacklist.

Among the latest additions, all licensed by Malta's Lotteries and Gaming Authority, feature: Betsolution4U's Platinobet.com, Casino.net and Lucky Nugget Casino, Gaming Club's dot.com and dot.org domains, Captain Cook Casino, Vegas Country Casino and Grand Hotel Casino, as well as, Anonibet, a sports betting operator that allows players to make deposits using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Active since 2011, Anonibet claims to offer players an anonymous betting experience, saying that due to its use of Bitcoin it is unaffected by regulatory restrictions.

Operators licences in other jurisdictions, such as, in Curacao – Favbet.com owned by Ukranian operator Favbet, Vbet.com owned by Radon B.V, Midas Entertainment powered by RTG and BigBangCasino.com; in Isle of Men - Annexio, PlayLottery.com and World Lottery Club, each site acting as a lottery aggregator, allowing players to buy tickets for a number of European lotteries, Wintingo.com, a site operated by Pariplay and owned by GMS Entertainment, a business which also includes games developer Orid Media, and is partly owned by video games developer Majesco Entertainment, Camasino, a webcam poker social network, and Slotser, owned by Ever Adventure IOM Ltd; in UK - LottoRace, a site owned by London listed company Bonobo plc, which offers an unique spin on lotteries, similar to a bingo product, have also been added to the extensive blacklist.

Despite the large number of operators being added to the blacklist on a regular basis, the Bulgarian regulator has awarded licences to only seven operators in the country, including the state-owned Sport Totalisator. The other operators to have secured approval to offer their online games to Bulgarian players are Eurofootball Bulgaria and Eurofootball Malta, PokerStars, Betfair, Novabet and Eurobet.

by Denitza Dimitrova LL.B., LL.M., Mag.Jur

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