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Bulgaria Meets AML Standards, Moneyval Report Confirms

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Bulgaria Achieves AML Compliance: Moneyval Report Affirms International Standards

Did you know that Bulgaria has significantly improved its anti-money laundering compliance?

Discover how Bulgaria met international AML standards and the measures that led to this achievement.

Learn about the impact of these changes on Bulgaria’s gambling sector and the new regulations in place.

Stay informed about Bulgaria’s regulatory advancements and their implications for the gambling industry.

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Bulgaria Achieves AML Compliance: Moneyval Report Affirms International Standards

Bulgaria has made significant strides in its fight against money laundering, as confirmed by the latest report from the Council of Europe’s financial monitoring body, Moneyval. This achievement marks a significant turnaround for the country, which was placed on a watchlist two years ago for its shortcomings in meeting international anti-money laundering (AML) standards.

Progress in Compliance

The Moneyval report highlights Bulgaria’s compliance with 13 out of the 40 relevant recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicating full or substantial alignment. These recommendations cover a broad spectrum of areas, including due diligence among non-professional businesses and professions, such as the gambling sector, real estate, and legal services. The remaining 27 recommendations were met with partial compliance, showing room for further improvement.

In their statement, Moneyval noted: “Since the adoption of its mutual evaluation report in May 2022, Bulgaria has taken numerous steps to strengthen its anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing systems.”

Key Measures Implemented

Several pivotal measures have been introduced since the 2022 report to address the identified deficiencies. One significant development is the establishment of a new AML unit within the National Revenue Agency (NRA), which also oversees gambling activities. This unit is tasked with enforcing stringent requirements on customer verification, documentation, and risk assessments.

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Gambling Sector Reforms

Amid these AML advancements, Bulgaria’s gambling sector continues to evolve under stricter regulatory frameworks. A recent and notable change is the enforcement of a ban on gambling advertisements across various media, including television, radio, print, and online platforms. This regulation, which came into effect following its publication in the State Gazette and approval by President Rumen Radev, aims to curb the pervasive influence of gambling ads.

Specifics of the Advertising Ban

The legislation permits certain types of gambling advertisements, specifically billboards located more than 100 meters from schools and ads displayed on the premises of gaming halls and casinos. These ads must include responsible gambling messages that cover at least 10 percent of the ad space. Violations of this ban can lead to fines of up to BGN 50,000 (€25,570), with the potential for license revocation for repeat offenders. Notably, television broadcasts of national sports tote draws are exempt from these rules.

Impact on the Gambling Industry

The Bulgarian gambling industry, while growing, now operates under these enhanced regulatory conditions. The dual focus on AML compliance and advertising restrictions reflects the country’s commitment to fostering a safer and more responsible gambling environment. These measures are not just about aligning with international standards but also about protecting consumers and maintaining the integrity of the financial system.

Future Outlook

Bulgaria’s journey towards AML compliance is a testament to the effectiveness of sustained regulatory efforts and international cooperation. The improvements made since 2022 demonstrate a robust framework capable of addressing both current and emerging risks in the financial and gambling sectors. Moving forward, continued vigilance and adaptation will be crucial in maintaining and enhancing these standards.

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Conclusion

Bulgaria’s attainment of AML compliance as highlighted by the Moneyval report marks a significant milestone in the country’s regulatory journey. With stringent measures now in place and the gambling sector under tighter control, Bulgaria sets a strong example of how dedicated efforts and international cooperation can lead to substantial improvements in financial integrity.

Stay tuned for more updates on Bulgaria’s regulatory landscape and its implications for the gambling industry, as the country continues to implement and refine measures to ensure compliance and protect consumers.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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