Tax on Online Gambling To Offset Decline In Hungarian Budget

Published Monday, October 01, 2012 -

Hungary’s ten million people live in a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine, and Romania to the east, Serbia, and Croatia to the south with Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The country attracts more than 10 million tourists per year. Hungary is considered a high income economy and has been a member of the European Union since 2004. The government of Hungary has a requirement to reduce government spending and further reforms its economy to meet the 2020 target date for accession to the euro zone.

Hungary’s government decided recently that they need action to crack down on gambling because it poses a threat to the national security of the country by eroding the income of the people. Minister of State János Lázár explained that the slot machines are creating a hazard for poor people in the rural areas that spend a big percentage of their meager incomes at gambling halls. Lázár said, “Gambling is explicitly dangerous and harmful for society,” Lazar told a press conference that earlier measures had not succeeded in scaling back gambling in the poorest regions of Hungary.

The recall and elimination of slot machines in local bars and clubs means there will be less income for those businesses. This also means there will be less taxes generated for the Hungarian economy. The revenue decline in the budget will be offset by imposing a tax on online gambling, Lázár continued. Internet betting has been an issue that the government is slow in dealing with extending the problem for years. While gambling is a state monopoly in Hungary, there are no practical means for taxing or regulating websites that offer sports bets since they aren’t registered in Hungary. The government considers the matter a key priority and will introduce legislation to be implemented by November of 2012.

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