Online casino operators provide services to individuals in certain countries based on licensing and regulations. All around the world, operators have the option to provide services by staying in line with regulations set by regulators of online gaming activities. While many countries offer online gambling services, there are still countries that restrict gaming. Operators are not allowed to provide their casino gaming services online and will be prosecuted by doing so.
When restrictions are in place, operators have the option to fight the regulations. Many operators feel they have the right to offer services in a country and try to fight any laws or regulations in place to be able to do so. Bet365 is one such group working hard to be able to offer services in all areas of the world, including Bulgaria.
Currently, a restriction is in place in Bulgaria that will keep the gambling operator from offering their gaming services to residents of the country. The State Commission on Gambling of Bulgaria, SCG, has restricted the operator from offering services in their country and Bet365 is now fighting this order. The appeal by Bet365 was heard in the Administrative Court of Sofia last week and an additional hearing is set for the 5th of May.
Bet365 was greenlighted by the SCG back in 2015, during the month of August, to provide online gaming services. However, the group then had second thoughts and decided to change their decision. This took place very quickly. The regulator stated that they found the betting operator, Bet365, to have been in violation of several provisions in regards to the gambling laws of Bulgaria.
Two years ago, Bet365 was one of the first names to be blacklisted by the SCG. 20 names were added to the list along with Bet365 such as Betfair, Betfred, 888, Ladbrokes, Unibet and more. So far, a total of 15 licenses for online gambling have been awarded by the SCG which has prompted many stakeholders in the industry to become critical of the regulator as the online gambling framework restrictions claim to be favoring the national gaming operators.
Bet365 is no stranger to heading to court when they feel they should be able to offer services. Operating restrictions is nothing new to the company how has a similar case taking place in Romania. In 2015, the gambling regulator of Romania, the Oficiul National Pentru Jocurl de Noroc canceled Bet365’s operating rights with Hillside Gaming and Hillside Sports even after the companies paid back taxes in the millions.
Bet365 ended up filing a criminal complaint against the ONJN accusing the regulator of discriminatory and corrupt practices. The gambling company of Bet365 was claiming that the ONJN had suspended their operations as a favor to local operators. Essentially showing favoritism as Bulgaria is being accused of doing as well.
With the Romanian case, Bet365’s request to the Bucharest Appeals Court was rejected earlier in 2016. The ONJN has European operators offering services in Romania, including Betfair and Amaya Gaming.
For now, Bet365 will continue to fight in Romania and Bulgaria, trying to be able to offer their online casino gaming services to residents in these areas. In the meantime, Bet365 continues to be a top provider of gambling activities in a variety of areas including their massive hold in the United Kingdom. Bet365 provides a multitude of gaming services including bingo, sports betting, casino games, poker and more.
It will be interesting to watch as the casino gaming operator continues to fight for the right to offer services in Romania and Bulgaria. Will any changes take place or will Bet365 have to accept they will not be allowed in the countries for operation?