Hungary is about to expand its online gambling segment and end the monopoly if the state owned sports betting Szerencsejatek Zrt.
According to a piece of legislation passed in 2014, only operators running a land-based business in Hungary are allowed to have an online presence. However, that law turned out to be in contradiction with the rules of the EU for free movement of goods and services across the member countries.
The new piece of legislation is aimed to introduce changes to both sports betting and casino games.
For the time being, there is no specified number of operators that would be awarded a license, but one of the conditions they have to fulfill is to prove that they haven't offered unregulated services on the territory of the country for the last ten years. Also, operators need to prove their financial sustainability and have to own capital of at least HUF1 billion. They must have been in the business for at least five years before applying for a license. The application fee is HUF600 million.
The licenses' validity will most likely be seven years. The Director of the Supervisory Authority of Regulatory Affairs will be appointed to oversee players' protection and responsible gambling matters. The draft says that: “New obligations under the draft require service providers to submit an annual player protection action plan to the gambling supervisory authority and that they must report annually.”
The gambling legislation bill is pending until May 4 when the EU Commission notification procedure ends. As for the operators that are already available in Hungary, country's Prime Minister Viktor Orban extended their licenses until 2056 and pointed economic interests for that unprecedented decision.
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