This post is part of a series about European Poker Regulation
Poker is completely legal in Bulgaria and business is booming, a further reduction in taxation could bring middle of the road casino businesses into a peak and attract many tourists from nearby countries looking for a solid thrill. The basic regulation today in Bulgaria is as follows: Landbased & online csainos are allowed to host games if they get a license of $35,000 and pay out to the government 20% of the net generated while players are free to play wherever they want overseas as long as room holds a local license. Because of the way that regulation is structured in Bulgaria, as explained above, we encourage anyone playing online in Bulgaria to play outside of the country where online rooms will absorb the cost of the fees associated with you playing instead of raising the rake and fees to compensate for their loss. If you want to play poker landbased in Bulgaria we really recommend you find a small local room that still attracts tourists, their fees for play are generally lower and their attitude is very accommodating.
Bulgaria poker history
legal gambling in Bulgaria dates back to 1993, when the government first regulated landbased establishments, before then gambling of course existed but was confined to blackmarket casinos held in private houses or clubs. In 1998, Bulgaria introduced the concept of licensing for gambling establishment which paved the way for where we are today. Although gambling was legal, the taxation imposed by the Bulgarian government was just too high and the population too small to support a thriving online poker economy. Fortunately, these laws changed back in 2014, and the tax now equals about 20% of the rake gained, this is still very high and many rooms are strongly to maintain gameplay. In a country of 7 million people, you either let the players enter the world pool and tax the rooms or create very low tax and licensing treshhold so that the poker rooms can maintain profitability. Bulgaria chose the first, which is great for the players who get to go outside of the country but local business does suffer from the high taxation.