Bulgarian political groups propose national gambling advertising ban

With a growing movement across Europe to ban gambling-related advertising, especially when it doesn’t seem to affect revenue, Bulgaria is the latest country to submit a proposal on it.

Two political groups in Bulgaria have called for a ban on gambling advertisements in the country.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), centralist and centralist-right political parties respectively, submitted a proposal for amendment to the Gambling Act.

The amendment would limit land-based gambling venues from opening in towns with less than 5,000 residents.

It would also prohibit any advertising related to gambling from being shown across physical and online media, such as television, billboards, magazines or social media.

GERB Deputy Chairman, Temenuzhka Petkova, said: “It’s no secret that over the past three years, gambling-related addictions have been extremely increased in our society.

“This required appropriate measures to be taken in order to limit them.”

Along with Petkova, the proposal was also led by Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of MRF Yordan Tsonev.

The bill was submitted to the National Assembly on 24 April and is touted to protect young people from the harms associated with addictive behaviour.

Bulgaria isn’t the only country to set its sights on banning gambling advertisements, though.

Several countries have already banned it entirely, including Belgium, Poland and Italy.

The idea gained traction when The Gaming Authority in the Netherlands, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), published its 2023 figures and revealed that it’s ban on advertisements had translated into a 28% growth in iGaming gross gaming results and a total of €1.39bn ($1.51bn).

Subsequently, the London Assembly Health Committee called for all gambling advertisements to be banned on the Transport for London (TfL) network.

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