The online gaming legislations in Hungary are under probe by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) due to a legal battle.
Hungary.- As the Maltese sports betting provider Unibet International Ltd. has confronted the government of Hungary due to alleged irregularities during the licensing process, the European Union officials urged the country’s authorities to review the legislation of the iGaming industry. Unibet’s platform was temporary blocked by the Hungarian authorities for not possessing the corresponding permissions, although the brand considers them impossible to obtain.
In response, Maciej Szpunar, an advocate general of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), revealed that the country should verify its currents laws to solve the problem. According to the advocate general, Hungary’s iGaming regulations could be infringing the European Union law as to tenet of freedom to provide services.
The Maltese compay Unibet already operates sports betting platforms in several authorised markets of the European Union and owns licenses that allows it to provide gaming services to several Member States. Its website, which was accepting bets from Hungarian players, was blocked once the Central National Treasury and Customs Administration (‘the tax authority’) made inspections on the platform.
The gaming company later expressed that “the requirements in the legislation are so exclusionary that, in practice, they make it impossible for it to obtain the concession that constitutes the precondition for the licence for organising games of chance online,” according to InfoCuria.
“On the basis of the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court answer the questions referred by the Fővárosi Közigazgatási és Munkaügyi Bíróság (Budapest Administrative and Labor Court, Hungary) as follows: Article 56 TFEU precludes national legislation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, that provides that an operator of online games of chance, legally established in another Member State, has the theoretical possibility of obtaining a license when that operator is, in fact, impeded from obtaining a license due to the system being either discriminatory or lacking the requirements of proportionality or transparency,” stated Maciej Szpunar.