UK and Bulgaria add new regulations, BetMGM hits new market 14 May 2024

The European gambling market is rife with multiple developments that will impact the gambling market. Among the notable developments, three recent ones stand out. Two of the developments are regulatory while the third one is market focused. 

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Regulatory Developments

Two regulatory developments have taken place in the UK and Bulgaria. 

In the UK, the Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been busy working on a white paper. The white paper contains a significant measure regarding “soft touch” affordability checks. 

The measure plans to change the amount that triggers the “soft touch” to when a player hits £150 in losses. This marks a minimal change from the previously suggested £125. 

The rollout of the pilot will begin in August where the initial sum will start at £500. The agreed-upon new sum of £150 will take effect in February 2025. 

While the UKGC may face some friction over the new measure, it is committed to frictionless implementation for operators and consumers. 

The second regulatory measure is in Bulgaria. 198 Members of Parliament have voted in favour of a new bill that introduces a ban on gambling advertisements. When the ban takes effect, ads will be restricted for radio, TV, social media and the internet in general.

There are a few exceptions to the ban. Sports clubs with sponsorships can use physical billboards that must be more than 100 metres from schools. These can appear in gaming halls and casino buildings as well. 

More so, Bulgarian sports tote draws can still be advertised on television. However, 10% of the advert must contain relevant messaging about responsible gambling. 

Failure to comply can lead to a financial penalty worth 25565. Repeat offenders face more stringent penalties such as losing their licence. 

The National Revenue Agency (NRA) tasked with the implementation of the new measures has assigned the Council for Electronic Media to oversee compliance with the measures and refer to them. 

This isn't the first measure by the NRA. Previously, it launched a new money laundering unit covering customer verification and transaction monitoring. Last year, it ordered a ban on self-excluded staff from entering casinos and gambling halls. 

The NRA has been overseeing gambling in Bulgaria since 2020 when the State Gambling Commission was abolished. 

BetMGM European Market Expansion 

BetMGM has had its eyes set on expansion in Europe. Recently, it has had multiple events including launching in the Netherlands, which is only its second European market. 

There are further plans to extend their reach to other promising markets in Eastern Europe and Latin America. While there is no specific information on exactly where Brazil is one of the suspected next targets in Latin America. 


BetMGM Bulgaria UKGC gambling regulatory market Europe Latin America losses penalties licence consumers responsible gambling

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