Bulgaria is becoming a technological hub for the world's leading gaming companies, which are opening and expanding offices in the country. This trend has intensified in recent years and the number of companies with offshore offices in the country now exceeds 30. The interest is mainly in Sofia and Plovdiv, making both cities technological hubs for development and technical support for many companies in the industry. This is according to a new report by the Gaming Industry Association of Bulgaria, presented at the Eastern European Gaming Industry Conference (EEGS).
The industry provides jobs for highly skilled people - mathematicians, engineers, designers, because the gaming product is very complex. I am very happy that their hard work has established Bulgaria as a technological hub for international companies to open offices and create jobs here," said the association's chairman, Angel Iribozov, during the presentation.
He described the country as a "strategic hub offering opportunities for contacts and business partnerships".
According to him, the gaming industry is one of the most dynamically developing, and the share of the online sector continues to grow.
Its importance to the Bulgarian economy is largely measured in...
...revenues to the treasury
Last year they grew by 36% to BGN 327 million, which is “a steadily growing core of tax revenues for the state treasury - revenues that have a 100% collection rate," Iribozov said.
By the end of the first nine months of this year, some 286 million leva had been paid into the state coffers.
Speaking on behalf of the state, the National Revenue Agency, which has been the main regulator of the gambling industry for several years, said it had established a “mutual trust and good partnership relations with the industry," in the words of Alexander Popov, Director of the Gaming Supervision Directorate at the National Revenue Agency.
The market in Bulgaria
Over the past year, the number of registered online operators and games has increased. The number of casinos is also growing slightly, as is the installed equipment. Trends show that more and more consumers are interested in visiting gaming complexes that include casinos, gaming halls, restaurants and clubs in one place.
There is a trend towards the growth of online gaming, especially sports betting.
The Sofia conference brings together companies from three continents and is becoming a leading event in Europe.
AI in the sector
Artificial intelligence is also making its way into the sector, mainly to help warn users with addictions.
AI can improve the user experience and emphasise player protection by providing early indications of problem gambling behaviour before it gets out of hand," commented Dr Jörg Hoffmann of law firm Melchers.
His view was echoed by Alexis Wiesen, co-founder and CEO of Unibo.
"AI is a big topic right now and it helps with responsible betting, signs of too much gambling and not being able to control," he explained, adding that at this stage artificial intelligence is also helping with software improvements.
Lawyer Gemma Boore of Harris Hagan explained that the regulatory approach to gambling advertising is changing, including in Bulgaria. She pointed out that gambling advertising is everywhere in our country:
The more visible gambling is to the community, the more opposition it faces. But is banning its advertising really the best option for society? In my opinion, no," she said.
And she explained that, in general, bans tend to lead to an intensification of the black and illegal market.
"The lawyer believes that it is necessary to raise standards in gambling advertising, to take special measures to protect minors, and that celebrities should try to promote gambling responsibly. She said these steps could reduce gambling addiction.
This article was translated with the support of DeepL.