Active players: 900.000
Currency: Bulgarian lev (BGN)
Regulated gambling products: Sports and horse race betting, casinos, poker, bingo, lottery
Designated authority: National Revenue Agency
Operator types: Licensed land-based and online bookmakers & casinos, state lottery
Bulgaria is a Southeastern European country which became an independent state in 1908. After years of war and being under the USSR’s influence, it eventually transitioned to a democratic state in 1990. That was when the first bookmakers started developing in the market. Sports are very popular here, with football attracting the most fans. Levski and CSKA, both from Sofia, have two of the largest and strongest fan bases countrywide.
Before 1990, all forms of Bulgaria gambling were illegal. Eventually, after going through a lot, the local market finally incorporated a proper licensing framework and a tax scheme for all types of gambling in Bulgaria. Apart from Bet365 and Bwin, the vast majority of international bookies do not hold a local license. However, plenty of them still operate and gladly accept local players. An increasing number of Bulgarian bettors choose them instead of the local ones. That’s due to the broader markets, greater variety of sports and much higher odds they offer.
Betting in Bulgaria - 5 things to know
- The legal gambling age is 18 years old
- Gambling winnings are not taxed
- Private lotteries have been banned from operating
- There is an active official blacklist of unlicensed operators
- All forms of gambling are legal and regulated
Best betting sites in Bulgaria
We understand that it might be difficult to choose the top betting sites in Bulgaria. So, we selected for you the ones that stand out in terms of odds and betting markets, while having their interface optimized in Bulgarian.
Online betting Bulgaria: The gambling law framework
Gambling in Bulgaria was not legal until 1993. It was officially regulated in 1998 with the introduction of the Gambling Law. Online betting in Bulgaria got officially regulated in 2012, just 4 years after it was first made legal. The 2012 Gambling Act is still the main piece of legislation, with amendments in 2014 and 2020.
The initial model of taxation for gambling operators required them to pay 15% of their turnover to the state. However, the 2014 changes included license fees of BGN 100.000. Plus, a variable tax of 20% on their GGR. However, this tax applies only to locally licensed operators. Finally, nowadays, a 15% tax on the total turnover is levied from the licensed sports betting operators.
Moreover, in July 2020, the National Assembly approved the termination of the State Gambling Commission. Instead of appointing a new state agency, it was decided that all gambling activities in Bulgaria should now be under the National Revenue Agency’s jurisdiction. The NRA oversees all procedures regarding licensing and taxation, before reporting back to the Ministry of Finance.
Some of the most significant changes include the allocation of 10% of all gambling profits to cultural development. Also, private lotteries stopped operating, as they owed vast amounts of money to the state in unpaid taxes. Lastly, harder capital requirements are in place. To offer online gambling in Bulgaria, an operator must present BGN 3 million (approximately €1.5 million) in capital. A fee of BGN 20.000 (almost €10.500) is also necessary.
The NRA also keeps issuing and updating a blacklist of online sportsbooks that operate without a license. The list is constantly growing and includes over 350 sites. As for the licensed online bookmakers, Bulgaria currently offers 6. Those are: Bet365, Bwin, Efbet, Winbet, Palmsbet and Toto bg. However, if you opt for a non-licensed international bookie, no one will actually stop you.
Online betting is absolutely legal in Bulgaria as long as you are at least 18 years old. Ever since licenses were introduced, the legal betting sites in Bulgaria are just a handful. Specifically, only six online sportsbooks operate with a license for the time being. Other international bookies that don’t have one, still accept Bulgarian bettors through their mirror websites.
Quite importantly, players don’t need to pay any taxes on their gambling winnings. Moreover, Bulgaria’s betting laws are just focusing on operators. Therefore, there are absolutely no reports of surveilling, let alone prosecuting online bettors.
If you prefer depositing through local payment methods, the best choice would be ePay or Easypay. However, if that’s not the case, there are also some other trustworthy methods; such as bank transfers (through local banks like UBB), available on licensed online bookies.
Nonetheless, bank transfers can take a couple of days to complete. That’s why the vast majority of bookmakers facilitate transactions via e-wallets. Skrill Bulgaria and Neteller are both available and famous for their speedy and secure services. PayPal Bulgaria is also available and is already the choice of thousands of bettors for its fast transactions.
Recent developments in an administrative level have brought some changes in the Bulgaria gambling scene. Thanks to the regulated environment, big international bookies like Bet365 and Bwin hold a local license. We have to wait and see if it’s a matter of time until others follow their example.
The next few years could lead to a relaxation of the existing licensing system; or, if more betting companies in Bulgaria choose to apply for a local license, it will just carry on as it is. An organized, well-regulated market, setting an example throughout the Balkan market and beyond.
Complete list of sport betting sites in Bulgaria
After thoroughly analyzing the local betting landscape, we now list all the betting sites Bulgaria offers. Just scroll through and pick the best one for you.
Yes, there are. The most famous is the Bet365 Bulgaria domain, as well as Bwin, and 22Bet. They are all reputable bookies which allow you to place your wagers in your native language and enjoy a great betting experience.
Yes, Pinnacle is available to Bulgarian bettors and already enjoyed by many satisfied ones. It is a reliable choice that offers plenty of payment options, including cryptocurrencies; as well as, high odds and a wide range of markets.
Yes, online gambling in Bulgaria has been legal since 2008, and regulated since 2012, when the Gambling Act officially came into force. You may access both licensed and unlicensed bookmakers that we list in our analysis, as the law does not stop you from doing so.
It’s commonly accepted that in Bulgaria football is the king of sports. It is the one that has traditionally attracted the largest number of spectators and locals are loyal supporters of their clubs, never missing a chance to place a bet while they’re at it.
Unfortunately, 1xBet Bulgaria was one of the leading bookies that decided to exit the local market when the domestic licensing system began. There are plenty of other options though, like 22Bet and Betwinner.
In Bulgaria sports betting is regulated by the National Revenue Agency. So, all the blacklisted domains are published on its official website. You can come back and check this link at any given time for possible updates.
Not only is it accessible, Bwin Bulgaria also holds a local license. Bear in mind that it also offers a wide variety of markets, very competitive odds and special features such as Build a Bet and Multiview.