Online Gambling Reforms Possible in Hungary

Published Sunday, June 05, 2011 -

The online gambling industry is a great boon for nations that have embraced it and made efforts to give operators a stable regulated framework from which to contribute to local economies.

Hungary is one of the latest countries to see the advantages of a licensed and taxed system for online gambling. The recently elected right-wing Fidesz party has set out plans to draw up a national gambling strategy to take advantage of the trend towards internet wagering. The Gambling Compliance website has suggested that the new approach will focus on taxation and controls that are required to operate the online gambling industry in Hungary. Hungary is struggling with heavy deficits and needs the potential revenues that could be generated by the internet betting market. Technology and service industries that keep the online gambling industry working are also regarded as potentially financial lucrative assets associated with the world of online betting.

Hungary’s framework for gambling laws stems back to the early 1990’s twenty years ago before the advent of internet wagering. So the need for significant changes to the existing law is apparent and obvious. Online gambling has not been regulated before now. The Hungarian Gambling Commission has put forth proposals for a licensing framework that includes preference for local operators, and as with other jurisdictions a requirement that servers be located in Hungary. The much required changes may mean the demise of the state controlled lottery and monopoly called the Szerencsejáték Zrt.
Budapest lawyer Gabor Helembai suggested the move to a regulated system in Hungary will come to pass by the end of 2011 and he commented that, “The government’s motivation is simply to get more money,”
While most analysts believe it will be a long time before reforms take place in Hungary they did admit that the government and the industry is watching closely for indications that there will be advancing legislation.  The ruling party is unpredictable and things could change rapidly.



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