The 5th annual Eastern European Gaming Summit was held in Sofia, Bulgaria recently. The big news up for discussion at the conference was Bulgaria’s adoption of a new gaming law that includes Internet gaming legislation and the licensing of foreign gaming equipment manufacturers as well as a new regime for testing and certification of gaming products by internationally recognized testing laboratories. Kaloyan Krastev, the Chairman of the Bulgarian State Commission on Gambling, announced that the Commission is diligently working on a regulatory framework for Internet gaming. The Bulgarian government is also engaged in a general discussion of tax policy. It is possible that this will ultimately include a review of the taxation of the gaming industry. As a result, during the conference and related press conference, there was a discussion of what should be an appropriate tax policy for the gaming industry that is fair to the government, the gaming industry and the players.
Other hot topics included the impact of implementation of a smoking ban in indoor and some outdoor public places and the restriction on advertising by the gaming industry. Dickinson Wright lawyer Bob Stocker participated in the conference and related press conference and addressed Internet gaming regulations and the impact of smoking bans and advertising restrictions on the gaming industry. The conference also conducted a special work session on responsible gaming, with an emphasis on the European approach to addressing responsible gaming issues.