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Another leap in gambling revenues in Bulgaria in 2017, combined with a favourable tax regime, is making the eastern European country an ever-more appealing destination for Europe’s gaming companies.

Citing Moody’s Amadeus data, Sofia-based news resource reports that, last year, revenues rose to more than BGN3bn (€1.53bn).

By contrast, the tax paid on the 2016 revenues (the most recent year for which tax data is available) were a comparatively mere BGN177m (€90.5m), albeit on a lower revenue base.

The most profitable area of the sector is scratchcards.

The Amadeus report reveals that there are more than 1,300 companies in the betting and gaming sector in Bulgaria, with Eurobet, the National Lottery amd Star Princess among the largest employers.

Tihomir Bezlov, analyst at the Center for the Study of Democracy in Sofia, commented: “If the tobacco product market is estimated at BGN3.5bn [€1.79bn] in 2017, then the excise duties paid and the VAT are about BGN3bn [€1.53bn].

“With huge gambling profits, the tax paid for 2016 is BGN177m (€90.5m),” said Bezlov.

Observing that the government has taken a hands-off approach and citing television advertising as a key factor in the sector’s growth, Bezlov said “there is no Bulgarian town without a gaming room”.