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Bulgaria's New Gambling Regulation Criticized

The regulation's stipulation for the blocking of unlicensed operators has been criticized by Internet freedom activists.

Under Bulgaria's agreed new online gambling regulation, a blacklist of unlicensed Bulgarian and foreign operators will be prepared and issued to Internet service providers with instructions to block these sites.

However, Internet freedom activists say that the law violates citizen rights by blocking their access rather than punishing the blacklisted sites directly. They warn that this could pave the way for governments to control the Internet and even limit access to sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Among the groups which demanded President Rosen Plevneliev veto the Gambling Act are 'Internet Society Bulgaria,' 'No to ACTA and Internet Control,' and 'Association of Independent Internet Providers.'

In addition, Internet service providers would be forced to pass the costs of blocking the sites on to their consumers.

The next step is the finalization of the new regulation by the State Gambling Commission, followed by approval by the Sofia Regional Court.

Estimates show that the regulation of online gambling could rake in €50million annually in state revenues.

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