Central European Midday Report: "Legislative Measures in Bulgaria and Moldova to Combat Gambling Addiction and Illegal Political Financing"

Central European Midday Report: "Legislative Measures in Bulgaria and Moldova to Combat Gambling Addiction and Illegal Political Financing"

Politics

GERB-UDF and DPS Parties Propose Amendments to Bulgaria's Gambling Act: Members of the GERB-UDF and DPS parties have submitted a proposal to amend the Gambling Act to the parliament's registry. The changes were presented in a joint briefing by sponsors Temenuzhka Petkova and Yordan Tsonev.

Petkova, Deputy Chair of the GERB-UDF Parliamentary Group, stated that the amendments were motivated by the need to protect the public interest due to a significant increase in gambling-related addictions over the past three years. The proposed changes include stricter regulation of gambling activities, advertising, and the allocation of funds from gambling operators regarding their social responsibility. Half of these contributions would go to the Ministry of Health to treat gambling addictions.

The bill also suggests limiting gambling halls to towns with more than 5,000 residents. Yordan Tsonev, Deputy Chair of the DPS Parliamentary Group, added that Bulgaria may lead Europe in the number of gambling halls, with 1,100 across the country. The bill seeks to restrict advertising for gambling games across all media, allowing it only on billboards far from schools and in sports areas not intended for minors.

Moldovan Prime Minister Warns Against Smuggling and Illegal Political Financing: Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean warned about the threat of smuggling and illegal political financing during a government session, urging state institutions to remain vigilant against these attempts. Recean emphasized that these efforts involve dirty money from organized crime that poses a risk to the state.

Law enforcement authorities recently seized over 20 million lei following 135 searches at Chisinau International Airport and 27 searches across the country. The money was intended for the illegal financing of some political parties and was smuggled by couriers, mostly older citizens from the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia. These individuals received between 300 and 500 euros for their involvement.

Prime Minister Recean stressed the importance of combating these criminal activities, noting the use of elderly individuals as cash carriers. He called for continued vigilance against these hybrid threats and illicit financing attempts.

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