The Bulgarian parliament has unanimously approved legislation to restrict gambling advertising on nearly all forms of media. This goes from television and radio, to newspapers and websites.

On April 30, all 198 members present on the last day of work for the 49th parliament. They voted in favor of the ban on second reading.
The legislation will become law within a few weeks once the official register publishes it. It provides for a complete restriction on gambling advertising except on billboards, social media, and at sports facilities that don’t cater for children. The legislation places a distance limit of 300 meters on billboards near schools. The law stipulates that all ads must include a large warning. This warning should occupy at least 10 percent of the ad space. It should state that gambling can lead to addiction.
The advertising ban also exempts the state lottery. This exemption is based on the requirement for the lottery to distribute its profits for sports and healthcare spending. This is not the same for private operators.
Recently, Temenuzhka Petkova of the center-right GERB party and its UDF partner, along with Yordan Tsonev of the ethnic Turkish MRF party, proposed the legislation. It swiftly moved through the Budget Committee and was rapidly approved after its first reading in Bulgarian parliament.
Currently, ads for gambling is prohibited. However, there are loopholes that businesses take advantage of. The law prohibits including the amount of winnings and the winners’ names in advertisements. However, it allows featuring important people in the advertisements along with other messages.
For years, child protection organizations, psychologists, gambling groups, media experts, and citizens have been advocating for tightening the law. On the other hand, major broadcasters, media groups, and ABBRO or the Association of Broadcasters, and gambling businesses have strongly resisted the ban.