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Albanian Police Crackdown on Betting Shops

Niji Narayan

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Albanian Police Crackdown on Betting Shops
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Albanian police have cracked down on people operating illegal betting shops. More than 1500 police took part in the operation in Tirana and seven other cities.

Police arrested 115 people and 26 others are being investigated. They are the owners, managers or employees of the shops. Police also seized 17.2 million leks ($150,000) and hundreds of computers and other electronic devices.

In 2018, Albania’s parliament voted to remove gambling from residential areas to curb its spread. Casinos are now only allowed in a few large hotels, while there are no legal shops taking bets on sports and racing.

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Bulgarian Gambling Regulator Suspends Eurofootball Licence

Niji Narayan

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Bulgarian Gambling Regulator Suspends Eurofootball Licence
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The Bulgarian State Commission on Gambling has suspended the licence of bookmaker Eurofootball for three months over unpaid taxes.

The commission said that Eurofootball could resume betting activities if it pays 329 million levs ($182.11 million) to the state within three months.

Eurofootball was founded in 1990 and became hugely successful with more than 800 betting shops operating around the country.

The Bulgarian government has been unable to formulate a proper law governing sports betting for some time now. Eurofootball has been the sole bookmaker in the country for many years.

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Kambi Temporarily Suspends Contract with Bulgaria’s National Lottery

Niji Narayan

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Kambi Group plc temporarily suspends contract with National Lottery AD of Bulgaria
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Kambi Group, the Malta-based gaming solutions provider, has suspended temporarily its sports betting service to Bulgaria’s troubled National Lottery AD. The group left with no choice as the Bulgarian operator voluntarily returned its operating licence to the local gaming regulator.

Kambi sent a formal notice to National Lottery AD, informing it of the provision to place bets restricted with immediate effect. National Lottery AD had been using the Kambi Sportsbook for its 7777.bg gaming brand for close to three years.

This is a direct result of the ongoing crackdown on private lotteries in Bulgaria. Following the crackdown, National Lottery’s boss, Bulgarian businessman Vasil Bozhkov, is now facing multiple charges.

It has been claimed that Bozhkov and his lottery operation had not paid proper taxes for years for conducting its activities in Bulgaria.

Bozhkov left his country shortly before he was slapped with a number of charges, ranging from leading an organised crime group, extortion, coercion and attempted bribery. He is also probed for murder and rape.

In February, Bulgaria’s Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev declared that Bozhkov had been detained in the United Arab Emirates and that his office was preparing a request for his extradition.

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Serbia Plans to Raise Online Gambling Taxes

Niji Narayan

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Serbia Plans to Raise Online Gambling Taxes
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The lawmakers in Serbia are pushing a bill that would set higher online gambling taxes.

Serbia currently taxes online gaming at 5% of GGR but the new bill would increase this to 15% for online betting and 10% for other games.

The bill would also allow for up to 10 licenses to be awarded in addition to the two licences that are already active.

The new bill also includes additional responsible gaming requirements that operators must meet, including messages in all adverts reminding minors not to gamble. In addition to this, an electronic surveillance system would be implemented to detect illegal websites.

“We are witnessing breaches of the rules,” lawmaker Danica Bukvic said.

“The fact is that children are betting and giving money to adults to pay for them to bet. Strict controls are necessary to prevent all this,” she added.

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