Report: Bulgarian Minister overhauls Sports Totalisator management

The leadership of the Bulgarian Sports Totalisator (BST) has been reshuffled by the country’s Minister of Youth and Sports, according to national news outlet Bulgarian News Agency (BTA).

Vesela Lecheva – caretaker Minister of Youth and Sports and a two-time Olympic shooting silver medalist – has reportedly appointed Angel Angelov as Executive Director of the BST, Bulgaria’s national lottery and sports betting provider. 

The outlet detailed that Angelov has previous experience in corporate finance, business administration, financial analysis, governance structure, cost control and risk management, and a master’s degree in financial control.

“The sports lottery is a basic pillar in sports financing,” a Ministry of Youth and Sports press release was quoted in the BTA as stating.. 

“It should be managed professionally, and tangible increase of revenue, as well as streamlining, appropriateness and full transparency in spending are expected in the conditions of the monopolistic environment created by legislation.”

Established in 1957, the primary purpose of the BST is to generate revenue and financial support for Bulgaria’s sports infrastructure as well as physical education in schools. 

Interim Minister Lecheva has ‘high expectations’ for both BST management and sports financing, the BTA reported, especially when it comes to revenues directed towards Bulgaria’s sports federations and clubs. 

However, she has also ‘expressed confidence’ in the abilities and future success of the newly appointed Angelov, and believes that the new Executive Director will meet the Ministry’s expectations on these matters.

Management and scope of the BST has been a topic of political discussion in Romania this year, as the populist ITN Party proposed a draft bill to the National Assembly that would expand the sales network of the Toto BG retail division to over 3,000 betting points in order to fill perceived gaps in fiscal support for sports.

Additionally, there has also been a debate around the privatisation of the sports lottery, according to former Deputy Prime Minister Kalina Konstantinova, as part of plans for the commercialisation of six state-owned properties. 

These proposals were criticised by former Sports Minister Radositin Vasilev, as having potential implications for lottery licensing as well as financial support for sports, claiming that privatisation would prevent the BST from directly transferring funds to the Ministry.

The debate may take a back seat, however, with a general election scheduled for 2 October, called by President Rumen Radev after Prime Minister Kiril Petkov declared that he could not form a coalition government.

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