A Guide to Bulgaria’s Online Casinos, Bonuses and More
Our experts scoured countless online casinos to create a list of the best online casinos in Bulgaria. Read on to find out which casinos made the cut.
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Best Online Casinos in Bulgaria
Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2005 but it has taken some time for online gambling to become mainstream. The Government now realise the revenue potential so things are progressing very quickly.
Bulgaria accepted online gambling in February 2008, but it took another four years for it to be legal. However, regulation has, in fact, proven to be the nuisance of online gambling in the country.
High tax rates were the biggest deterrent preventing international sites from entering the Bulgarian market. Furthermore, the Government blacklisted and blocked unlicensed operators in March 2013.
Late 2013, the Bulgarian Gambling Reform Bill passed. This reduced the taxes payable and introduced a one-off licence fee. Since this change, things have improved dramatically, with an increase in applications resulting.
From 2014 onwards, some of the more recognisable players in the online gambling world started to apply for licences. This opened the doors to even more international sites.
As part of the European Union, there are plenty of international providers ready to accept Bulgarian gamblers. So, to pinpoint where the best value is and which brand names are worth your attention, we have compiled a list.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Bulgaria?
The good news for Bulgarian gamblers is that online gambling is legal in Bulgaria. You must be eighteen years old or more to legally gamble in Bulgaria.
The journey to legalising online gambling was a rocky one. The Gambling Act of 1999 failed to regulate the laws. This meant that, until 2008 when the Government drafted the first legislation, it was illegal. The absence of regulation meant that, while online casinos were around, safety standards were not sufficient.
2012 saw the Online Gambling Law adopted, which meant that licences were necessary and providers had to pay high taxes. But this didn’t last very long. Given the lack of interest from international providers, the law changed to a one-off licensing fee of €50,000 and a tax of 20% of annual gross profits.
This change led to an increase in gambling revenues paid to the state and the trend has continued to date. Bulgaria still continues to operate a blacklist of sites that do not follow their strict regulations. More than 350 sites are already on this list. This is good news for gamblers since it means that the state takes its safety and protection very seriously.
How We Review the Top Bulgarian Casinos
As fellow players, we appreciate where quality shines through in a casino site.
You can trust that we go through the following list in great detail to give you a level of confidence in the sites that we promote.
Safety & Security
128-bit SSL encryption is essential when it comes to safety and security in online gambling.
With the possibility of large sums of money leaving your account, we give you the sites that ensure your gambling experience is fun, enjoyable and, most importantly, secure.
We want to find out where the very best welcome bonuses accessible to our Bulgarian players are. Rather than glance over the deals, we dig into the finer details to determine exactly what you’re getting and how soon you will be able to reap the rewards of those freebies.
While a healthy welcome bonus is always going to be attractive, this is only one indicator of the quality of the site under review. The welcome bonus shouldn’t be the decision-maker. That said, a few extra free spins never hurt anyone!
Online casino players know that security around personal information is essential. Many prefer, for this reason, to use alternative methods to top up their accounts rather than using their regular bank account.
The team here at Gambling Metropolis checks each casino to determine what payment options are available. The greater the number of options open to players, the more accessible and easier it is for any player.
Flexibility, in this regard, is also essential to give players control over their spending and to budget.
If you enjoy a hot streak and win some big money, you will be keen to make a withdrawal. But it’s not always as simple as pressing the ‘withdraw’ button.
Slow payouts take the fun out of online gambling, whereas fast payouts promote positive experiences and encourage repeat play. We want you to know exactly where you can expect the quickest turnaround.
It seems inevitable that all online casinos will eventually have to have a mobile app. This is becoming one of the top criteria that players need before they sign up to a new casino site. Casinos need to be accessible to both Android and iPhone users, but it’s just as crucial that the platform works well and delivers a great immersive experience.
With mobile gambling on the rise and showing no sign of letting up, one of the key areas that set apart the very best sites is customer support. The presence of 24/7 support that caters to phone, email and chat is ideal, but it’s also valuable to have a support team that can speak the language of its users.
Unfortunately, the percentage of international casinos that caters for Bulgarian users is small. We will highlight the sites that do.
Established Game Providers
Established game providers on any online casino immediately boosts user experience. Even if you have managed to claim a fantastic welcome bonus, in the absence of great graphics, you may spend a lot of time looking for something that catches your eye.
There are lots of superb developers on the scene today and our job is to keep tabs on how they are progressing. We’ll tell you about the casino game providers that give players the best opportunity to have fun.
Licence and Regulations
We have already indicated that Bulgaria is very strict when it comes to regulation. Any applicant that wants a licence in the state must have their main servers within Bulgaria or another member state of the European Union.
Foreign licence operators also need to appoint by way of a power of attorney a local representative to provide representation.
It goes without saying that all the casinos on our list hold valid licences.
Playing with Real Money – Can you Deposit Euros at Bulgarian Online Casinos?
Although Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, it has not switched to the Euro as its primary currency. The Bulgarian Lev is the main currency, and many sites accept it.
The Euro and American Dollar are also accepted, so it’s worthwhile having some available should you join a site that does not accept Lev.
Domestic sites will accept MasterCard and Visa, but there have been instances where they failed to complete deposits on international sites. But, for the most part, sites accept all major credit cards.
That aside, e-wallets are a very popular deposit option e.g. Skrill, Nordea, Neteller and WebMoney. And for those that prefer to complete bank transfers, TrustPay, Sofort, Instadebit and ePay are available.
Which Casino Games Are Available in Bulgaria?
There is a wealth of options accessible to Bulgarian online gamblers. Poker, roulette, card games, poker, blackjack, dice games, slots and live casino are all accessible. Sports betting is also available.
Popular Casinos Accepting Bulgarian Players
The reduction in taxes payable and the introduction of the one-off licence fee has made the prospect of entering the Bulgarian market much more attractive since 2014.
Playing Online Casino Games with a Real Live Dealer
There is no question that the live dealer experience is going from strength to strength. Online gamblers are finding many more options outside of the norm to pique their interest and excitement levels. Consider the fact that Monopoly Live is now part of the live casino games sector and you get a sense of where we are heading.
Developers are recognising that there is a growing appetite for live streaming games. The technology has already transformed poker and blackjack so we’re excited to see where it goes.
Watch this space, because the next ten years are certain to prove very interesting indeed!
Casino Bonuses and Free Spins
One of the great joys of online gambling is getting welcome bonuses and promotions. They are usually listed on the promotions page, with one-off opportunities and welcome bonuses being the norm.
Players can expect anything from free spins for newly released slots to bonus cash and other kinds of rewards. The commitment of casinos to their promotions enhances the value that players receive.
What is a Bonus Wagering Requirement?
When you claim a bonus, there will be a wagering requirement attached to it. This is a restriction that the casino applies to prevent a player from immediately withdrawing any winnings they make from a bonus.
The way it works is that the player will have to wager their win a specific number of times before they unlock the possibility of making a withdrawal. It’s all above board and each casino will state what the wagering requirements are in the terms and conditions.
The Casino Market in Bulgaria
Online casinos contribute somewhere in the region of 80 million dollars to Bulgaria every year.
Given the fact that there are plenty of brick and mortar casinos around as well, you cannot ignore the economic contribution of gambling.
The state commission recognised the losses that they were sustaining back in 2013 when they amended the taxation levels. The industry is experiencing massive growth and unless stricter or tighter regulations become legal, the upward trend will continue.
Online Casinos and Gambling Rules and Regulations in Bulgaria
The State Commission on Gambling, an administrative body that reports to the Ministry of Finance, is the main regulatory authority in Bulgaria.
One thing to bear in mind about the Bulgarian online casino world is that it is heavily regulated and strictly enforced.
Given that Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, their policy with regards to blacklisting sites may come under review and have to fall in line with other member states.