Friday September 20 ,2013 : FIRST ONLINE SPORTS BETTING LICENSE ISSUED IN BULGARIA
And the regulator adds another 20 online gambling domains to the growing blacklist
The Bulgarian gambling regulator, headed by recently appointed director Ognemir Mitev moved forward this week, issuing its first online sports betting license.
The recipient was vBulletin, an already well-established and licensed land bookie which owns online brands like Eurobet.bg and Eurofootball.bg through a Malta LGA licence.
Mitev took the opportunity to advise media that a further 20 online casino operators accessing the Bulgarian market without a licence have been added to the Eastern European country's black list, making them vulnerable to blocking by ISPs and Bulgarian financial transactors.
Notable names on the new additions were Interwetten and Centrebet.
The new additions bring the total number of domains on the list to 135, many of them leading industry operators. Operators have a chicken and egg problem with the regulator, which has not yet issued licenses despite being empowered to do so, yet has started blacklisting companies that have accessed the local market for some time.
And some of the domains listed claim that they do not access the Bulgarian market at all, and do not even have websites in that language.
The Bulgarian newspaper Capital Daily noted that neither Eurobet.bg or Eurofootball.bg are on the blacklist, suggesting that the possibility of commercial protectionism may exist.
Eurofootball has been prominent in the Bulgarian sports market since 2009, when it signed a three-year agreement with the Bulgarian Football Union to sponsor the nation’s male, female and youth national soccer teams.
In addition, the deal required Sofia-based EuroFootball to sponsor of the Bulgarian Football Professional League for the 2009/10 season.
Intralot, the Athens-based developer and supplier of gaming and transaction processing systems, owns a 49 percent stake in EuroFootball, which was founded in 1993.