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Uzbekistan legalizes online gambling, while Sweden, Bulgaria, and Belgium tighten rules

Vasily Levenstam
June 3, 2024
3 min
347

Uzbekistan legalizes online gambling, Bulgaria prohibits gambling advertising, and Sweden and Belgium introduce new restrictions for players and operators.

Uzbekistan plans to legalize online gambling

On 19 April, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree on new measures to regulate the organization of lotteries and gambling. This was reported in a press release from the National Agency for Prospective Projects (NAPP) and the Ministry of Justice.

From January 1, 2025, Uzbekistan will allow online gambling and betting activities with licenses issued by the NAPP under the leadership of Vyacheslav Pak. The Department for Combating Economic Crimes under the General Prosecutor's Office of the country will supervise gambling organizers to ensure compliance with all relevant requirements.

Organizers of online lotteries, gambling, and betting activities will pay a 4% income tax after accounting for paid-out winnings and returned bets. Licenses issued by the NAPP should be renewed every 5 years.

Only adult residents of Uzbekistan and tourists will be able to participate in authorized betting, online gambling, and lotteries. Gambling winnings are not subject to income tax.

Anti-money laundering and other offenses will be enforced by the NAPP and the Department for Combating Economic Crimes at the Office of the Prosecutor General.

Bulgaria bans gambling advertising

The Bulgarian Parliament unanimously passed a law banning gambling advertising. On April 30, the last day of the 49th Parliament, all 198 parliamentarians voted for the ban in the second reading.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has approved proposed amendments to the Gambling Act that include a ban on gambling advertising in the media. The changes took effect from May 17.

According to the new rules, television, radio, newspapers, and websites will not be able to publish and broadcast gambling advertisements. An exception will be made only for the state lottery, as it is obliged to allocate its revenues to sports and cover health care costs, which private operators are not.

Sweden prohibits the usage of credit cards for gambling

Sweden plans to prohibit the use of credit cards for gambling. This proposal was put forward by the Ministry of Finance in the report "On risky lending and over-indebtedness in the Nordic market".

The ban will apply to all licensed gambling companies, although exceptions may be made in certain cases.

The Swedish Gambling Authority is concerned that the memorandum does not address how the ban will affect charitable lotteries that sell tickets online. Under the new law, lotteries will have to ensure that payments are not made using credit cards or loans from third parties. The Office holds that this issue requires further study.

Belgium raises the minimum age of players

From the 1st of June in Belgium, gambling operators will not be able to offer services to players under the age of 21. This is due to a new law that raises the minimum age for gambling. Belgium became the second country in the European Union after Greece to set the threshold for gambling at 21 years old.

Also, under the new law, land-based operators will be required to maintain a register of players. This register will be able to be reviewed by police officers and the local regulator.

The Belgian Association of Gambling Operators (BAGO) opposed the new measures, accusing the authorities of populism. Moreover, from September, Belgian operators will not be allowed to run promotions, give away free bets, or offer bonuses.

Vasily Levenstam
Vasily Levenstam
Content creator
With years of experience in iGaming content creation, his role at Slotegrator revolves around a dedicated commitment to thorough research and analysis of new trends. By staying informed about regulatory and technological developments in gambling industry, Vasily is dedicated to providing readers with the latest and highest-quality content, aiming to enhance and support clients and partners in the dynamic iGaming landscape.

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