Betting in Sofia

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Published: 22/04/2013

Located at the foot of Mount Vitosha in western Bulgaria, Sofia is not only the nation’s capital but also its largest city, boasting a metro population of just under 1.3 million residents. The city’s history dates back some 2,400 years, during the 5th century BCE, when a Celtic tribe of the Serdi created a settlement in the Sofia Valley, surrounded by mountains on all sides. It remained a small town until 1879, when it was declared Bulgaria’s capital.

Today, Sofia is the 15th largest city in the European Union and its GDP per capita exceeds the EU average as a whole. It has become one of Bulgaria’s most visited tourist destinations, apart from coastal and mountain resorts. Most of the country’s major universities, cultural institutions and businesses are concentrated here. Sofia is known for its numerous mineral and thermal springs, too, and its highlights include the massive Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which was constructed in the late 19th century.

The very centre of Sofia is a district called Oborishte. This is where most of the capital’s landmarks and administrative edifices are located. The architecture is predominantly neo-Renaissance and Viennese, complemented by extensive green belts and yellow cobblestone streets. Another highly active district is Vazrazhdane, which is home to numerous trade centres and banks, some light industry and Maria Luiza Boulevard, the site of the Central Sofia Market Hall and St. Nedelya Church.

More than a third of all the gaming venues in the capital are operated by a single entertainment group called Eldorado, which is headquartered in Sofia. In just one decade, the company has opened gaming halls in a dozen Bulgarian cities, including seven units under the Casino Club Eldorado brand in the capital alone. All of them operate 24 hours a day, offering from 12 to 40 gaming machines, including Electronic Roulette. Locations can be found on Vitosha and Maria Luiza boulevards as well as on Tsarigradsky Highway and Lavelle, Pope Gruyo, Tsaribrodska and Verila streets.

A sister brand called “Palms Casino” is also operated in Sofia. Such locations offer 24/7 action with 17~60 gaming machines at each venue on Madrid, Pushkin and Metodi Popov streets as well as the Mladost branch on Malinov Avenue. A fifth Palms Casino property can also be found inside the Hotel Anel on Todor Alexandrov Avenue, right in the heart of Sofia Centre. Its 26 gaming machine include Electronic Blackjack and Roulette. All Palms Casinos feature free Wi-Fi access, cocktail bars and complementary coffee service.

Two other small chains of slot venues are Casino City, with branches on Boris Hristov Street, Goce Delchev Boulevard and Hristo Smirnenski Boulevard, and Casino Millennium, with units on Makgahan Street, Knjagina Klementina Street and Zlatovruh Street. Numerous independent slot halls can also be found dotting the city, such as Casino Venice on Vassil Levski Boulevard, Casino Neon Nights on Slivnitza Boulevard and Casino Columbia on Djakon Ignatii Street.

Most of the truly large casinos in Sofia are connected with hotels. For example, Casino Rila, with 55 gaming machines and 12 table games, is inside the Hotel Rila on Kaloyan Street, while the Capitol Casino offers 83 gaming machines and 16 table games within the Radisson Blu Grand Hotel at Narodno Sabranie Square and the Casino Hawaii can be found inside the Hemus Hotel on Cherny Vrah Boulevard, with 71 gaming machines and six table games available 24/7.

The Princess Entertainment Group out of Istanbul, Turkey has also affiliated itself with Sofia hotels, establishing the Rodina Princess Casino inside the 537-room Hotel Rodina and the Sofia Princess Casino within the 601-room Dedeman Princess Sofia Hotel. Both properties offer dozens of slot games and tables for Roulette, Blackjack and Poker. Similarly, the Viva Group’s Viva! Casino Sofia occupies a 2,831-square-foot gaming inside the Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan at Sveta Nedelya Square, featuring 75 gaming machines and nine table games.

One other large entertainment conglomerate to have created a foothold in Sofia is Germany’s Gauselmann Group. They have brought their Merkur Casino brand to Botevgradsko Boulevard, where the company’s proprietary slot games and Electronic Roulette can be enjoyed 24 hours a day.

Published on: 22/04/2013

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