RELICENSING IN THE GAMBLING BUSINESS GOES AT FULL SPEED
Almost all companies occupied with gambling activities in Bulgaria will have to relicense by December. The term of the first permissions issued in 1999 on the basis of the currently operating Gambling Act is expiring in 2005. The State Gambling Commission was established five years ago, too. According to its figures, there are 567 gambling halls with automatic devices operating in Bulgaria at present, as well as 53 bingo halls, 21 casinos, and four sports betting houses.The possible discussion by the Parliament of amendments to the Gambling Act is another event that is expected to take place by year-end. The amendments may lead to liberalisation of the regime for licensing EU member state companies willing to occupy with gambling in Bulgaria. According to the annual report of the supervising department, 490 inspections were carried out last year in outlets permitted to organise gambling games. Fifty-three sites where illegal gambling was organised were also established. The inspections resulted in 128 statements for administrative violations and 496 confiscated devices.