Stumbling Block For Gambling: Hungarian Authorities Taking Drastic Measures

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2013 year for Hungary was marked by a significant event in gambling sector. The representatives of gaming machines industry supported by crowds of players were sent to the Constitutional Court to submit a protest associated with the ban in Hungary slot machines. However, despite the appeal of the players and influential representatives of the industry, the Hungarian Constitutional Court has not canceled the government’s ban. According to the laws of Hungary, all the aspects of gambling are ruled by the state-owned monopolist, Szerencsejatek.

The ban on the slot machines in the country was announced just over a year ago. This led to the fact that a considerable number of small slot machine halls ceased their operation in the country. Recalling that prior to the adoption of the law, only in the territory of Budapest, the number of such gambling halls has been increasing steadily. However, the law ordered the gaming operators to ensure that all games must now take place exclusively in the territory of two casinos: Las Vegas Casino and Tropicana. Today, the activity of the Government of Hungary also aims at taxing online casinos.

The state proposes a project, which provides the licensing of online operators for a period of five years, while the cost of a five-year license will equals a considerable amount of $450k. In addition, the state is going to impose online operators to a 20% tax.

It should be note that after the adoption of a law that prohibits the operation of slot machines in Hungary, three casinos incomes rose sharply: thus, compared to the same last year period, casino revenues increased by 35 percent. This is mainly attributed to the influx of players after the small halls of slot machines were outlawed. The government suggested that the ban slot machines have a negative impact on the country’s budget. But the real situation in this case is that the treasury of Hungary have benefited from the adoption of this law. This way or the other, a German gambling consultancy dgfev.de, a massive hub with an extensive review and statistics database, admits that the closure resulted in nearly 500ml. EUR losses in taxes.

Pushing big players

The Commission on Gambling Control also decided to include a number of domain names, such as PokerStars.com, PokerStars.eu and PokerStars.hu to the list of prohibited resources, suffered the same fate as almost all Swedish, Romanian, Polish and Greek rooms that worked in the country.

Oddly enough, a number of poker rooms were not blacklisted: thus, the ban was avoided by partypoker, Unibet, Betsson, Betclic and even Full Tilt Poker.

Hungarian black list is a part of an ambitious plan of government, the purpose of which is to take online gambling under control. In the near future, to work in the country, operators need state licenses. Many online gambling operators criticize the government’s plans, as according to them, the licensing prices requested by the Government, taking into account not too big and promising market of Hungary, are excessively high.