HUNGARY TO ADD ONLINE SPORTS BETTING AND CASINO GAMES
Thursday January 17, 2013 : HUNGARY TO ADD ONLINE SPORTS BETTING AND CASINO GAMES
Draft regulations submitted to European Commission
Hungary has submitted its latest draft legalization expanding the nation's online gambling market by adding sports betting and casino games.
The country at present permits only horse racing and some card games.
Operator costs are likely to be steep; the Hungarians are looking for a tax rate of 20 percent of GGR, and would-be licensees face a 5-year license fee the equivalent of $450,000 for each genre they wish to operate.
The established local competition is likely to be daunting, too – the state holds a monopoly at present through its ownership of the physical retail betting group Szerencsejáték Zrt, which has already announced plans to go online with GTechG2's Margin Maker.
The regulator (read the government) will decide on how many licenses are to be made available and what they will be permitted to offer Hungarian punters, suggesting it may be strongly restrictive.
The Hungarian regulator is also putting in place market shields against unlicensed operators that are similar to those deployed by national regulators elsewhere in Europe and include blacklists and ISP blocking on pain of heavy fines.