Hungary: bill proposes end to state monopoly on sports betting

Hungary still maintains a state monopoly on sports betting.
Hungary still maintains a state monopoly on sports betting.

The bill would open the Hungarian sports betting market to private gambling operators.

Hungary. A bill introduced in Hungary’s parliament proposes a further opening of gambling in the country to end the state monopoly on sports betting. The bill would allow operators from within the European Economic Area (EEA) to gain permission from the national gambling regulator to launch offerings in the market.

Hungary last updated its gambling legislation in 2014. The last modification allowed land-based casino operators to apply for online casino and poker licenses, but online sports betting was kept under the state-run monopoly of Szerencsejáték Zrt.

Hungarian sports betting licences: operator requirements

The new proposal would allow only EEA operators to apply to Hungary’s regulator to offer sports betting in the country, but for now it appears that there is no limit proposed on how many permits may be issued. Any operators who have offered igaming anywhere in Europe without a licence in the last ten years would not be accepted, the bill suggests.

According to the bill, the licence fee would be set at HUF600m (€1.7m), to be paid to the Hungarian State Treasury. Operators would need to provide a minimum guarantee of HUF250m and would need to have share capital of at least HUF1bn (€2.8m). Operators would also need to devise player protection plans for responsible gaming.

In other details, credit cards would be allowed to be used for online deposits so long as they are linked with an authorised payment service provider. The tax rate for the market has not been defined.

The bill has been passed to the European Commission for feedback and is now subject to a standstill period until May 4. The Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) found that Hungary’s state monopoly on online sports betting to be in breach of European Union rules back in 2017.

See also: ECA survey reveals Covid-19 measures affecting European casinos

In this article:
gambling regulation sports betting