Betfair Group plc

Betfair has become the latest online gaming operator to be issued a license from the Bulgarian State Commission on Gambling (SCG).

The announcement from the commission comes one week after PokerStars confirmed its successful license application in the country. The pair are the first foreign operators to be issued licenses.

Betfair has been issued two licenses that can be used on its Betfair.BG domain: one for online betting on sports, horse and dog track racing, the second for online casino games. The latter of the two, which is the same that Rational Group was issued for its PokerStars.BG domain, would permit Betfair to offer online poker games if it so chooses.

Betfair’s primary business is in online sports exchange betting, in which it is the pioneer and market leader. It also offers a slate of other online gaming products, including an online poker room on the “top tier” of the iPoker network.

Licensed operators are required to pay a tax of 20% on profits, which is low enough that it should not deter interested parties; recently published licensing fees make the market even more attractive.

Like more recent European regulations passed in Denmark, Estonia and Belgium, under Bulgarian law the player pool can be shared internationally—a Bulgarian player on PokerStars.BG or Betfair.BG would play alongside players on the dot-com sites. So if Betfair did choose to offer poker under license, it would mean Bulgarians would have the full iPoker network available.