Bulgaria is located in south-east Europe and borders the Black Sea to the east. They also border Turkey to the south-east, Greece to the south, Macedonia to the south-west, Serbia to the west and Romania to the north.
Bulgaria has regulated the online gambling industry in recent years, but they didn't really start out on the right foot. In 2013, they started their regulation of the industry with absurdly high taxes that kept out just about all operators. They realized that this was counter-productive, and within a year, they offered a much more attractive tax and fee option. This allowed them to very quickly acquire major licensees (like PokerStars and Betfair) within months.
There are two things that really define how they have tried to regulate the industry. First, they do not require player segregation, so with online poker for example, they can play with people from across the globe. Second, they ban foreign sites that are not regulated in the country. This is a common sense approach that offers the best of both worlds to both operators and players, so it's a win-win for everyone involved.
Licensing is set up in a way that allows foreign operators to apply to offer their games to players in Bulgaria. They aren't required to have offices in the country, but they are required to adhere to certain business practices that keep players safe and the games legitimate. Because their licensing process is so relatively open to operators, there is a good amount of competition inside of Bulgaria, and this also helps to keep the pressure on the companies to offer a secure and legitimate experience.
Players can file complaints with the controlling bodies if they feel they have been wronged by a licensed online gambling site. These complaints are taken particularly seriously because Bulgaria is all about keeping the games clean that their licensees provide, and they don't want players to have a lack of confidence in their offerings for any reason. Along these lines, it's easy to see that they have a solid level of player protections.
With that having been said, there are no protections whatsoever for playing with foreign operators. You could face punishments and lose your account balance. With such high-quality operators available in Bulgaria, it doesn't make sense to risk it at this point.
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