The Bulgarian State Gambling Commission (SGC) has confirmed that it is to review license applications from PokerStars and Betfair.
The SGC was established to regulate gambling in line with a new law which came into effect in July 2012. The SGC has to date issued only three licenses to online providers: Two went to the state owned lottery operator Toto.bg, the other to Bulgarian-owned Eurofootball Limited.
High taxes were initially levied and seen to be a deterrent to operators, who could see little potential profit in the EU member nation which has a population of 7.3m with a per capita income averaging just $15k. The regulator and many politicians recognized that the potential tax revenues would not be achievable unless taxes were reduced.
Late last year the Bulgarian parliament reduced taxes from 15% of revenues to 20% of profits, making the market a much more attractive proposition.
PokerStars.com is still blacklisted but the Betfair.com domain has been removed.