Hungary: New rules on online gambling


By a new law on the amendment of tax related laws the Government partly liberalized Hungary’s online gambling market. As of 1 January 2012 online gambling operators may obtain license to organize online horse betting and card games at a tax rate of 20 percent of net revenues payable upon monthly report to the Hungarian tax authority. Potential applicants would have to have a minimum registered capital of HUF 200 million (approx EUR 690,000) in a member state of the European Economic Area, relevant experience, as well as a certified gaming and business system validated by an accredited supervisory organization. Other forms of online gambling like casino games and sports betting remained a monopoly of the state-owned lottery organizer, Szerencsejáték Zrt.

Publishing or broadcasting of as well to star in an advertisement of any kind relating to gambling organized without the license issued by the Hungarian tax authority became expressly prohibited. Sponsorship of a television programme by gambling organizers having no license became also prohibited.

It is a new rule as well that ISPs must block the access to unauthorized gambling websites and financial institutions must freeze bank accounts of organizers of illegal games if required by the Hungarian tax authority.

Stricter rules will be enforced trough increased fines, illegal operators now face a maximum fine of HUF 100 million (approx EUR 345,000), which is tenfold than before.