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Bulgaria Licenses One of its Own

Bulgaria has issued its first online sports betting license, and it’s to a prominent Bulgarian, a move that is exacerbating the frustrations of European operators trying to access the market.

The recipient, vBulletin, is a well-established land-based bookmaker that owns online betting brands Eurobet.bg and Eurofootball.bg through a license issued by the Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority.

Sofia-based Eurofootball, which is 49 percent-owned by Greek lottery giant Intralot, has been prominent in the Bulgarian market since 2009, when it signed a three-year agreement with the Bulgarian Football Union to sponsor the nation’s male, female and youth national soccer teams.

The Bulgarian State Gambling Commission, meanwhile, has added 10 more websites to its blacklist of unlicensed operators, bringing the total to 142. The ban means that ISP access and financial transactions could be blocked. The additions emphasize the problem operators face in trying to do business in the Eastern European nation, which has not yet issued them the licenses they seek despite being empowered to do so.

The commission launched the blacklist in June.