In a recent move to tighten gambling regulations, Bulgaria’s National Revenue Agency (NRA) has mandated that all casino operators bar self-excluded individuals from entering their establishments, even for employment purposes. This directive comes as a response to queries about the possibility of hiring individuals who have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities.
Enforcing Compliance with Gambling Law
The NRA has emphasized that non-compliance with this rule will result in hefty penalties, with fines reaching up to BGN20,000 (£8,800/€10,200/$11,200), as stipulated in the Bulgarian gambling law. The agency clarified that adherence to the Gambling Act is essential, irrespective of whether an individual is at a gambling venue for work or play.
Bulgarian gambling law also prohibits entry to gaming halls or casinos for several other categories of individuals. These include people wearing uniforms, those under 18 years of age, and armed individuals. Furthermore, anyone without proper identification or found under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also barred from entering these establishments.
Resumption and Rules of the Self-Exclusion Register
After a legislative-induced hiatus of two years, the Bulgarian self-exclusion list resumed operations in mid-December 2022. This register allows individuals to voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling services for a specified period, from live games such as Live Poker and Live Casino to table games like Craps and Blackjack, with a minimum duration of two years.
Registrants can request removal from the list before the completion of their chosen period. However, such a request necessitates the approval of the NRA’s executive director. The self-exclusion register is not publicly accessible. Only a limited number of individuals within the NRA, along with gambling operators, can access the full list.
As per government data released in April 2023, a significant number of individuals have opted for self-exclusion. Since the resumption of the register in December 2022, it has seen over 7,200 applications. This measure underscores the government’s commitment to promoting responsible gambling practices and safeguarding vulnerable individuals from the potential harms of gambling.