New Rules of the Game: Navigating the Near-Total Ban on Gambling Advertisement in Bulgaria

Jun 11th '24

In April 2024, the Bulgarian Parliament adopted amendments to the Gambling Law which entered into force on 18 May 2024. The law was adopted in a fast-track legislative procedure with an overwhelming majority of MPs supporting new and far-reaching restrictions on the advertising of gambling games. 


The amended Gambling Law prohibits advertising gambling games on radio and TV, as well as in other electronic media, including websites. Advertising in printed publications and public places, including facades of buildings.


There are several strictly formulated exceptions from the advertising ban:


  • Out-of-home advertisements can be displayed only on freestanding billboards located more than 300 m from educational institutions, including schools, universities, kindergartens, children’s playgrounds, dormitories for pupils or students, as well as institutions that supply social services to children and youngsters. In all cases, gambling ads should be limited to 5% of the entire advertising area (network) managed by the respective OOH operator.
  • A licensed gambling operator may place ads on the facade of the premises where it organises gambling games, but only advertising games which take place in the respective premises. The gambling ad may cover no more than 20% of the entire area of the facade and in any case, it should not cover more than 50 m².
  • The Gambling Law does not prohibit advertisement on sports gear, sports halls, stadiums, and swimming pools, products and materials operated by or related to sports federations, sports clubs, sports associations, or organizations, on condition that the equipment/products/materials are not designated for persons under 18.


An advertisement that benefits from the exceptions should only contain the name and/or type of the gambling game; the registered trademark of the organiser and information about results. On all ads, except ads on sports gear, no less than 10% of the entire area should be dedicated to the warning: “Gambling carries a risk of addiction”. The Gambling Law explicitly prohibits ads from containing figures.


Read the full article, here.


Source: Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA)


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