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Online casinos in Hungary
In Hungary, online casinos are monopolized by the state. The monopoly is divided between two companies — Szerencsejáték Zrt. and Magyar Lóversenyfogadást-szervező Kft. They own 11 land gambling establishments. They work under a license issued by the Ministry of Finance under the Law on Gambling.
Hungary online casinos operate on .hu, .eu and .com domains. Other sites operate under cross-licenses.
The legal regulations of online casinos in Hungary
|Online casino license||Gambling Act based on Act XXXIV (1991)|
|Main regulator||Department of Gambling — part of the Ministry of Finance|
|Tax for operators||If the annual income exceeds 10 billion forints: 3 billion forints for 10 billion + 10% of income from more than 10 billion|
|Winning tax for players||No|
|Punishment for operators||The responsibility of operators, providers, and players is in the Hungarian Government Decree No. 329/2015 (XI. 10.)|
|Language||Hungarian, English, German|
|Payment systems||Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Neteller|
Legislation and licensing
In 2013–2014 Hungary has adopted a new Law on Gambling (Law). European online providers have become illegal. They initiated proceedings in the national court and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
CJEU judges concluded that the new rules are not in line with EU law. Now the law is not applied in practice. Hungary's gambling market is open to cross-licensed virtual casinos.
The activities of online casinos in Hungary are theoretically subject to the Law on Gambling. It contains:
- definition of the concept of rates and machines;
- description of licensing and state control procedures;
- list of games;
- types of permissions for slot machines;
- advertising standards.
Decree No. 32/2005 (X. 21.) issued by the Minister of Finance is considered a technical regulation. The responsibility of operators and players is set out in Government Decision No. 329/2015. (XI.10.).
Holders of land-based casinos registered as legal entities in Hungary (section 3, paragraph 1b). may open sites with national permission.
The state monopoly on casinos is divided between two companies: Szerencsejáték Zrt. and Magyar Lóversenyfogadást-szervező Kft. (section 3, paragraph 1a). They open sites with a .hu domain.
Online sports betting is not regulated separately and is subject to the state monopoly.
The Law «On Investments» for foreign citizens and companies indicates the condition for the creation of the site. An online casino can be opened by a person or company that has a land gambling establishment in Hungary.
According to Government Decision No. 329/2015 (XI.10.), The operators of gambling sites must inform the participants about the risks of the games (Section 1, Clause 1). They are obliged to create a partial funding fund for organizations that provide prevention or treatment of gambling addiction in Hungary (Section 22, paragraph 1).
Hungarian citizens cannot start the game before confirming their identity (regulation of the European Gaming and Betting Association called Consumer Protection in EU online gambling regulation).
National companies are subject to administrative (maximum 100 million forints, confiscation of equipment) and criminal liability for violations of Hungarian law.
In 2013 — 2014 Hungary introduced new gambling licensing standards. International operators did not accept them. Companies have challenged the rules in the national court and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
CJEU concluded that most of the articles in the Hungarian system regarding online casinos are contrary to European Union law. Now they are not applied in practice.
The current Hungarian licensing system for online and land-based casinos is the first precedent in world law when legislation is passed but not in force. Most government regulations can be ignored with impunity.
In Hungary, an emergency legal situation has developed, since a new licensing regime does not yet exist. National law prescribes a detailed gambling licensing system. But it practically does not work. By-laws are not applied in practice. Casinos operate on licenses issued in foreign jurisdictions (cross-licenses).
Technical support, contacts for addicted players and their relatives
The Country Drug Report 2019 of the Ministry of Human Rights of Hungary regulates measures to combat drug addiction, alcoholism, and ludomania. A report on the decrease in the level of gambling dependence of the population is presented there and a decrease in the number of state clinics is indicated.
Click here for information for visitors to online casinos in Hungary. There is a register of social protection authorities for dependent players (under the Law on Social Benefits), an application for self-exclusion, and determination of ludomania.
The provider blocks the company and makes it blacklisted.
Players can prohibit visiting sites for days, weeks, or months (Section 11, Clause 1 of the Gambling Law).
First, you need to write an application on the site or apply by phone hotline. So the state blocks visitor payments from accounts, access to virtual online casinos. A player is entered in the Player Protection Register (Játékosvédelmi nyilvántartás) (sections 19 and 20 of the Law on Gambling).