Over the past year the Gaming Industry Association of Bulgaria, as the industry’s umbrella organization, has taken an active role in a number of events that have been crucial to the development of the industry. At the end of 2022, the Gaming Industry Association will have an important role to play. The Association took an active part at expert level in the joint work on the preparation and subsequent signing of a joint memorandum between all licensed online operators aimed at promoting socially responsible advertising. Its representatives were present at meetings with organizations, institutions and government bodies to discuss current issues affecting the industry.
In late September 2023, a discussion was also initiated on proposed changes to the Gambling Act by the Ministry of Finance, and the Association weighed in with expert opinion and views. At the same time, AGIB continued to support the only NGO working to promote responsible gaming behavior in the country and create a culture of responsible gaming – the Responsible Gaming Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has been developing and promoting practices among land-based and online licensed operators and organizing trainings and seminars.
In October 2023, Responsible Gaming: On Focus, the only initiative of its kind in the country, was launched to work simultaneously with promoters, consumers, institutions and society on responsible gaming activities. These include creating a platform and a code of conduct for responsible gaming, building in users a responsible attitude towards gaming and the use of digital devices, which are becoming an increasingly important factor in the lives of modern people, and working with Bulgarian and international organisations related to the topic. Webinars and trainings were held with speakers from the most authoritative international organizations related to the creation of responsible gaming policies and practices, who shared their experiences and the methods of work they follow, covering issues such as digital addictions, problem gambling, etc.
The Association has played a particularly important role in building partnerships with key NGOs, including GamCare, YGAM, EPIC Risk Management, whose representatives actively participated in the Focus: Responsible Gaming initiative. In an effort to maintain a global partner network, representatives from AGIB visited the biggest gaming exhibitions throughout the year, including ICE in London, SBC Summit in Barcelona, IGB Live in Amsterdam and SiGMA in Malta, G2E in Las Vegas. An expert from the organisation was a judge at the prestigious Global Gaming Awards, which evaluate companies in the industry and their achievements throughout the year.
The Association also organized for the 14th time the largest exhibition for the gaming industry in Central and Eastern Europe – the Balkan Entertainment & Gaming Expo (BEGE), as well as the Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGS), which focused on topics affecting the future of the industry. During the panels, topics such as “Gamification and Artificial Intelligence”, “Payment Collateral Ecosystems”, “Advertising in Gaming” were discussed.
As part of the Eastern European Gaming Industry Conference program, two side events were held, which were a great success. On the 20th of November a masterclass was held at the Black & White Club, Grand Hotel Millennium, which was led by Prof. Dr. Desislava Boshnakova. The theme of the event was “Using Social Networking in the Gaming Industry” where over 50 gaming enthusiasts took. The next day, 21st of November, the Affiliate Conference was held again at the same location for the second time. During the event, over 90 affiliates and operators shared successful practices and exchanged ideas in affiliate marketing and the gaming industry.
In December 2023. The Association took an active part in the discussions and published an expert opinion in relation to the adoption of the Budget 2024 law, which included significant increases in gambling fees as well as the introduction of a new license maintenance fee.