Gaming tourism is part of the new project for updating the Bulgarian National Strategy for Sustainable Development and Tourism 2014-2030
In 2016 the gaming industry in Bulgaria proved as stable and steady developing. The sector with biggest growth was the one of lottery games. However, due to gaming tourism, slight movement was noted in the land-based industry, too. According to BTAMOGI’s Annual Report for the gaming industry in Bulgaria at the end of 2016 there are 27 active casinos in Bulgaria. Most of them are located in Sofia and Plovdiv, at the seaside resorts, as well as at the border regions.
The potential of the gaming tourism, which hasn’t yet been developed in Bulgaria, provoked the start of a few new projects located at the border regions and touristic places. In zones such as the town of Svilengrad, which is very close to the border with Turkey and attracts groups of tourists, the gaming tourism proved very important for the economic development. Casinos provide jobs and income to many people. Healthy tourists generate revenues for other sectors, too.
In the ‘Project for updating the Bulgarian National Strategy for Sustainable Development and Tourism 2014-2030’ gaming tourism is pointed out as important part of the city tourism. As a proof for that comes the fact that the number of licenses issued for land-based and online gaming has grown significantly.
The factors that come in favor for gaming tourism are the following: “The product does not depend on weather conditions and can be practiced throughout the year. Another advantage is that Bulgaria is located next to countries, where gambling is forbidden.”
One of the major obstacles for developing this kind of tourism is the lack of comfortable and profitable connection of air transport with the gaming zones at the seaside when summer season is over. Another difficulties are the impossibility of combining the gambling tourism with medical, business, sea and mountain tourism, as well as the weak communication positioning of the opportunities for gaming tourism in Bulgaria at major tourism generating markets such as the Israeli and Arabic.