106 ECONOMY – GAMBLING – TAXES AND FEES
Gambling Commission Conducted 3,137 Checks,
Imposed Lv 1.4 Mln in Sanctions, 2015-2019 –
Sofia, May 29 (BTA) – Between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2019, the State Commission on Gambling (SCG) conducted 3,137 checks, drew up 350 penalty decrees and imposed pecuniary sanctions totalling 1,411,000 leva, Bulgarian Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said, addressing Parliament on Friday.
He was answering a question from BSP for Bulgaria MP Roumen Gechev about the arrangements for control over the collection by the SCG of gambling taxes and fees payable to the Exchequer.
During the same period, the National Revenue Agency (NRA) conducted 812 checks in the gambling sector and issued 254 penalty decrees for 190,319 leva. Besides this, 31 audits of gambling organizers were made and additional liabilities of 1,250,314 leva were identified.
Goranov said that the SCG has issued eight written statements against four companies for a total of 693,109,261 leva in principal and interest on overdue statutory fees.
The Finance Minister admitted that the SCG endorsed legally non-conforming rules extending favourable treatment to several gambling operators in respect of the charging and payment of fees, as a result of which more than 693 million leva were not remitted. The law-enforcement authorities are currently investigating this material breach on the part of the SCG, Goranov said.
He pointed out that the revenues from gambling have been steadily increasing. The revenues from gambling fees collected by the SCG in 2016 were by 30.5 million leva or 33.41 per cent more, compared to 2015. The year-on-year increase was 19 million leva or 13.82 per cent in 2017 and 13.5 million leva or 8.5 per cent in 2019.
Gechev argued that the Public Financial Inspection Agency did not conduct a single check of the gambling industry in the course of five years. He noted that Vassil Panov has been Director of the Control Directorate at the NRA for 11 years and asked what that person was still doing at the NRA and, if he is incompetent, why Goranov had not fired him right away after the non-payment of fees exceeding 693 million leva was detected.
The Finance Minister did not answer the MP’s additional questions. NV/LG