More Hungarian Poker Players Going Online

Published Tuesday, May 11, 2010 -

The Hungarian government has made it clear in it's laws that that it's all right to play poker in the country but you have to give the tax department a fair share of any profits. This is forcing many poker rooms to close and give up, contending there is no money to be made once the government takes it's slice. The already severe restrictions the government held in place since the passing of the 1991 Hungarian Gambling Act has been made even more dramatic by recent changes to the legislation. The new amendments to the act placed heavy regulations on local poker clubs, and put a big tax on poker winnings. The amended laws also limits the profits of poker clubs to 15%, and requires the clubs to give 30% of its revenues to the State. Poker players have turned to sites that are operated offshore because Hungarian sites are not licensed. The Hungarian Poker Association suggested that this was a strategy by the Hungarian government to move players into the live casinos away from local card rooms and small clubs that players organized themselves. The high taxation rates caused little hardship for the larger casinos which had other revenue streams from other gambling games to make a profit from. This notion was confirmed by statements from Laszlo Detrekoi, the Ministry of Finance State Secretary who said that the new Act was designed to create a compromise between the two major players in the gambling industry in Hungary, the Poker Houses and the live Casinos. Hungarian poker players have moved to playing online which has confused government officials who realize now their plan misfired because they failed to consider today's online casinos and poker room availability. The new government in Hungary may or may not amend laws to prohibit online gambling. Sceptics believe the government will try to block online poker sites through filtering. A progressive regime would licence and regulate operators and create a sustainable future for the Hungarian economy.

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