July 3 (BTA) – The Sofia Administrative Court has annulled a decision of the State Commission on Gambling to delicense Eurofootball in March. The Commission must pay 50 leva in legal costs.
The July 1 ruling is appealable. It is available on the Administrative Court’s website.
Gambling mogul Vassil Bojkov, who is one of the partners in Eurofootball and is now in the United Arab Emirates avoiding an arrest in Bulgaria on charges of leading an organized crime group since 2014, money laundering, extortion, bribery, murder, abetting in murder, attempted rape, trading in influence and unlawful possession of cultural assets, also posted the court ruling on Facebook on Friday. He commented that “the court decision showed that the delicensing of Eurofootball is altogether legally non-conforming, and once again exposed the methods of plunder employed by the State”.
In a decision of March 26, the State Commission on Gambling said a statement ascertaining public receivables of nearly 330 million leva had been drawn up against Eurofootball. The statement is being contested in court and there is no enforceable judicial instrument yet. Non-payment of the receivables led to the decision to delicense Eurofootball.
For its part, Eurofootball argued that this was too severe a measure which “terminated the company’s operation and caused damage to all employees, partners and clients”.
Eurofootball asked to put up a collateral for possible future receivables in the amount of 328,882,670.98 leva. An opinion from the Large Taxpayers Unit of the National Revenue Agency shows that this proposal was not accepted.
The Sofia Administrative Court ruled that the delicensing contravened the law. Judge Luiza Hristova argued that in the absence of an enforceable judicial instrument, overdue obligations cannot form grounds for the revocation of the licence. Moreover, the State Commission on Gambling has no powers to demand a collateral before the obligations are established indisputably.
The company has three licenses: for organizing online gambling games, for betting on sports results and for betting on horse and dog racing.
Shortly after Bojkov posted on Facebook that the delicensing had been annulled by the first-instance court, the Specialized Prosecution Office reported that a search at properties in Sofia and the southwestern town of Sandanski was under way as part of the investigation against the businessman.
The Bulgarian National Radio said three persons had been detained for questioning, including two from Sandanski. The operation involved heavily armed police and teams from the Specialized Prosecution Office and the Witness Protection Bureau with the Prosecutor General. RI/DD