Bulgarian Instant Lottery Goes State

The Bulgarian authorities are currently pursuing a truly big case. Recently it became known that the Bulgarian gambling magnate Vasil Bozhkov is the focus of numerous investigations by the authorities. The billionaire then went to the United Arab Emirates and, according to Bulgarian Willem, will soon be transferred to his home country. Meanwhile, the country's authorities are making sure that Bozhkov's profitable instant lottery falls into state hands in the future.

Bulgarisches Parlament.

The instant lottery in Bulgaria is being nationalized after the arrest of billionaire Vasil Bozhkov. The lottery game is extremely popular, especially in the poorer regions of the country.(©Emer_Iglesias/Pixabay)

Numerous investigations against Bozhkov

About three weeks ago theBulgarian businessman Vasil Bozhkov arrested in the United Arab Emirates and put into custody. This step was taken immediately after it became known that the Bulgarian authorities were investigating the businessman on several counts. Bozhkov, nicknamed "The Skull," was until recently one of the most powerful men in the country. No other entrepreneur can be called such a big gambling magnate in Bulgaria. However, the glamorous life seems to be coming to an end soon. The public prosecutor's office has brought charges against the billionaire on eleven counts. He is accused of money laundering, rape, murder, extortion and threats.

In this context, theInstant lottery of the country. This is exactly what Bozhkov operated and that is probably why he became enormously wealthy. As the correspondent Clemens Verenkotte fromARD reports, the instant lottery is enormously popular with many Bulgarians.Around 60 percent of the population would therefore regularly place bets in the instant lottery. One reason for the popularity: Players can participate in several lotteries in a short period of time. For many Bulgarians, this obviously increases the appeal and hope of making big money.

Instant lottery popular especially in poor regions

The ARD also reports that there is enormous demand for instant lotteries, especially in poorer regions. Many players from the often bitterly poor parts of the country would hope for quick money and a chance to escape poverty. The country's experts estimate that in the rural andpoor regions of Bulgaria, many people would spend up to two-thirds of their monthly income participating in the instant lottery. One reason for this is not just the desire for quick money. Instead, the instant lottery positioned the outlets tactically. People can therefore not only get their lottery tickets in a kiosk or supermarket, but also in the post office. And this is exactly where many people go when they want to collect their social benefits such as pensions or social assistance. It is not uncommon for large parts of this money to end up in the post office in the lottery pots.

Furthermore, theadvertising budget for the instant lottery has also been significantly increased in recent years. According to critics, the lottery has covered the country with aggressive advertising.

Reorientation of the instant lottery

In the future, this enormous advertising expenditure should come to an end when thelottery falls into state hands. That is exactly the goal, as Valery Simeonov, deputy of the United Patriots coalition, explains. He also describes the instant lottery as leprosy that is sweeping the entire country.

“We want to put an end to this leprosy as soon as possible. Gambling games should only be played in certain places that have a license for them. This is about the value system of the whole nation, of the whole population.”

This case will have repercussions not only for Bozhkov himself, but also for instant lottery outlets. They have already paid in advance for the lottery tickets, but now have to destroy them. As reported by the Bulgarian media, these arelottery tickets worth almost 14 million euros which must now be destroyed.

Gambling moguls and their gaffes

How billionaire Bozhkov will continue is also still in the stars. Bozhkov is accused, among other things, of having, together with other high-ranking members of the National Gambling Commission,smuggled taxes amounting to almost 300 million euros past the state. However, the extradition of the United Arab Emirates could become a problem for the Bulgarian authorities. The southern European country has no extradition agreement with them. And yet: The past shows that the authorities usually do not give up when prosecuting crimes of this magnitude. Bozhkov is by no means the only gambling mogul to have been targeted by authorities in recent months.

In the US, for example,Billionaire Steve Wynn still faces a lot of accusations. Wynn, the founder of the well-known Wynn resorts, has to defend himself against several allegations of rape and sexual harassment. More than 100 employees are said to have reported to the media or the police and said they had been harassed by Wynn. Wynn then sold his stake in Wynn Resorts, which also had to pay a fine of hundreds of millions of dollars. Wynn himself has so far come out of the matter largely unscathed. However, the investigations are ongoing and it can be assumed that the billionaire can also expect a personal punishment. So far, however, it is not possible to guess when this could be pronounced and how it will turn out.

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The article was published on March 2nd, 2020 in the magazine by cpaws-ov.org under the keywords, ,, published.
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