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Bulgaria Blocks 600 Unlicensed Gambling Websites



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Bulgaria continues its intense crackdown on illegal gambling. According to its latest report, the National Revenue Agency (NRA), the body responsible for regulating gambling in the country, has identified and blocked over 600 unlicensed gambling websites in the last three months of 2023 alone.

The latest ban wave saw the NRA take action against sites such as 22bet, leon casino and luckyhit, among others. All these websites lacked a valid license, yet still allowed Bulgarian consumers to register and participate in online games of chance.

Sites included in the NRA’s list of unlicensed gambling operators are usually required to cease their activity within three days of the announcement. If they fail to do so and still accept bets following this period, the NRA can request court action, which, in turn, can require internet service providers to block access to the operators’ websites and all sub-domains.

The NRA’s decisions and the decisions of the Sofia Regional Court can be seen in the Online Gambling section on the regulatory body’s official website. The NRA also maintains and constantly updates lists of both the licensed and unlicensed gambling operators in the country.

Consumers can report illegal gambling websites to the NRA, helping it to keep the Bulgarian market free of unlicensed gambling.


FK Partizan Signs Sponsorship Contract with MaxBet



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FK Partizan has signed a 3-year general sponsorship contract with MaxBet company followed by official ceremony staged at Sava Centre.

In January, MaxBet became part of Flutter International, parent company of international brands and operations such as PokerStars, Sisal, Adjarabet, BetFair International or Junglee Games.

Flutter International is part of Flutter Entertainment, international sports betting and gambling company present at more than 100 international markets with more than 24,000 employees around the world and over 40 licences.

MaxBet General Director Savo Bakmaz and FK Partizan General Director Milos Vazura addressed guests and media representatives, revealing the details of the project and underlining this is the first big sponsorship in the world of sport since MaxBet joined Flutter International in January 2024.

Moreover, there was a live auction of first Partizan shirt with the MaxBet logo, signed by Partizan players and sold for 260,000RSD.

Proceeds from the auction will be forwarded to Budi Human charity, namely little girl Helena Gavran for her hydrocephalus treatment.

The event ceremony and the introduction of the new general sponsor was attended by Milorad Vucelic, Milos Vazura, Igor Duljaj, Milorad Nikolic, Dragan Velanac, Zarko Zecevic and many other past and present FK Partizan players and personnel.

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Albanian Socialist Party Pulls Gambling Draft Law from Parliamentary Vote



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Update at 15:30 CET (15 Feb. 2024): 

Under the direction of the Speaker of the Assembly, Mrs. Lindita Nikolla, the Assembly convened today in the next plenary session.

Under the conditions of holding an abnormal session, caused by the actions of the parliamentary opposition, the session immediately began with the voting of bills according to the agenda.

The session adopted two bills and two project decisions.

The bill “For an addition to law no. 7651, dated 21.12.1992 ‘On official holidays and memorial days'”, as amended, was approved with 74 votes in favor.

The bill “For some additions and amendments to law no. 155/2015, ‘On gambling in the Republic of Albania'”, as amended, was approved with 72 votes in favor. Also, the respective amendments for this bill were approved with 72 votes in favor.

The project decision “For some changes in the Assembly decision no.127/2018 ‘On the approval of the structure, staff, and categorization of job positions of the Institute of Statistics, INSTAT'”, was approved with 74 votes in favor.

The project decision “For the approval of the organizational structure, staff, and classification of salaries of part-time employees of the Central Election Commission”, was approved with 74 votes in favor.

The Albanian parliament was about to vote to reverse a five-year-old ban on online sports betting as the government admitted that it had failed to control the illegal activity. The proposed draft law, which would permit licensing for ten betting companies with prior experience, was scheduled to be voted on Thursday, February 8, 2024, during the plenary session. However, Bledi Cuci, the Chairman of the Socialist Party, unexpectedly withdrew the said law without providing an explanation.

“At the request of the Socialist Party, it was requested to withdraw from the discussion of the draft law on gambling,” the Speaker of the Parliament, Lindita Nikolla, said. “It was approved with 74 votes in favor.”

Nevertheless, the law on allowing online betting activities in Albania shall be returned for a vote in the parliament. After withdrawing from the vote in the session, the parliamentary group of the Socialist Party has decided to modify at least two of the 33 articles.

Among the proposed amendments, the revised draft includes a minimum requirement for foreign shareholders to hold a minimum of 30% stake in competing companies and/or organisations alongside a mandate for substantial experience in the gambling sector across at least three European countries over a period of no less than three years.

Moreover, adjustments to the re-establishment fund have been proposed, with an increase from the initial allocation of 20 million lek to a minimum of 40 million lek. Additionally, several provisions have been also introduced aiming to limit the influence of betting organizers by prohibiting them from sponsoring sports clubs. Furthermore, the roles of the President of the National Football Federation as well as the President of the Olympic Committee in the Licensing Commission have been eliminated.

Additionally, the proposed legislation act is also trying to strengthen oversight with a new clause that mandates state supervision over the activities of concessionary companies responsible for developing and maintaining the central online monitoring system. This oversight will be carried out by the Licensing Commission through regular audits.

Finally, changes were also made in the articles on the winning rate of national lottery players, which was reduced from 80% to ‘not less than 50%’.

This article has been written by Efstathios Pappas – Business Development Associate at Novibet

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HIPTHER Renews Media Partnership with Balkan Entertainment & Gaming Expo – BEGE and The Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGS)



HIPTHER Renews Media Partnership with Balkan Entertainment & Gaming Expo – BEGE and The Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGS)
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HIPTHER, the pioneering event organizer and media agency in Central and Eastern Europe specializing in cutting-edge Gaming and Technology sectors, is thrilled to continue the fruitful media partnership with the renowned Balkan Entertainment & Gaming Expo – BEGE and The Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGS).

This year marks the Anniversary editions of the Balkan Entertainment & Gaming Expo – BEGE and the Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGS), both celebrating 15 successful years. The exhibition and the conference will be held on November 27-28. The longevity and continued success of these events underscore their significance in the gaming industry.

Representatives from BEGE & EEGS have participated in ICE London 2024, seizing the opportunity for iGaming industry professionals to connect, network, and lay the groundwork for business growth in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

Anticipation for BEGE 2024 is already building, with many exhibitors from the previous year securing their space for the upcoming event. This trend is a testament to the positive experiences and business opportunities created through BEGE.

The success of BEGE and EEGS in 2023 was extraordinary, with over 80 exhibitors hailing from 3 continents and 68 countries participating in the exhibition. BEGE 2023 saw a staggering attendance of over 6000 visitors, highlighting its status as a premier gaming expo in the region.

EEGS 2023, the Eastern European Gaming Summit, featured 50 speakers from 25 countries, attracting over 400 delegates to participate in insightful discussions and networking opportunities.

 “We are delighted to extend our media partnership with HIPTHER into 2024. Leveraging a robust foundation that we’ve meticulously built, we aim to enhance our past accomplishments, as well as to cultivate fresh successes collaboratively.” – shared Natalia Baevska, Project Manager at BEGE & EEGS.

Zoltan Tundik, Co-Founder and Head of Business at HIPTHER commented: “We at HIPTHER are immensely proud to renew our media partnership with the Balkan Entertainment & Gaming Expo (BEGE) and The Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGS). This year, as they celebrate the 15th anniversary of these landmark events, our collaboration stands as a testament to our dedication to the gaming and technology sectors. The success of BEGE and EEGS in recent years, marked by significant international participation and groundbreaking discussions, perfectly aligns with our mission to foster growth and innovation in the industry. As we prepare for an exciting array of events in 2024, we look forward to further elevating our content and networking opportunities, while continuing to showcase the dynamic developments in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and beyond. Here’s to another year of unparalleled achievements and to making a significant impact on the global stage!

The renewal of the media partnership between HIPTHER, BEGE, and EEGS underscores a commitment to delivering exceptional content and networking opportunities to the gaming and technology sectors. As HIPTHER prepares for a highly successful calendar of premier GameTech events in 2024, spanning across CEE, the Balkans, and the D-A-CH regions, and with EEGS and BEGE celebrating 15 years of stellar gaming exhibitions, we eagerly anticipate communicating our continued success across Europe and around the world.

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Offering comprehensive coverage on all aspects of the gaming sector, includes online and land-based gaming, betting, esports, regulatory and compliance updates, and technological advancements. Regular features encompass daily news articles, press releases, exclusive interviews, and insightful event reports.

The platform also hosts industry-relevant virtual meetups and conferences, and provides detailed reports, making it a one-stop resource for anyone seeking information about operators, suppliers, regulators, and professional services in the European gaming market. The portal's primary goal is to keep its extensive reader base updated on the latest happenings, trends, and developments within the gaming and gambling sector, with an emphasis on the European market while also covering pertinent global news. It's an indispensable resource for gaming professionals, operators, and enthusiasts alike.

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