New Amendments to Hungary's Gambling Act Implemented by Regulatory Authority

Published April 8, 2023 by OCR Editor

New Amendments to Hungary's Gambling Act Implemented by Regulatory Authority

Hungary's regulatory authority has recently implemented a series of amendments to the country's Gambling Act. The updated legislation includes several changes to regulate the gambling industry and protect consumers. These amendments respond to growing concerns about problem gambling and the need for stricter sector oversight.

In response to recent amendments to Hungary's Gambling Act, the country's gaming regulator, the Supervisory Authority for Regulatory Affairs (SZTFH), has issued a decree introducing new technical measures. The legislation, which took effect on 1st January 2023, aims to end Hungary's sports-betting state monopoly system and replace it with a competitive licensing process overseen by the SZTFH.

The new requirements mandate that operators seeking authorization from the SZTFH must have at least five years' experience in offering licensed online gaming within the European Economic Area. Additionally, companies that broadcast unlicensed gaming within five years of their application date are ineligible for a license. These measures were implemented following a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2017, which deemed the previous system unlawful.

Under the new regulations introduced by Hungary's Gambling Act, operators seeking authorization from the SZTFH must pay an application fee of HUF10m (£23,000/€26,000/$29,000). Additionally, businesses must have a minimum share capital of HUF1bn, and pay a license fee of HUF600m, 2.5% supervision fee, and a 15% gaming tax on their gross gambling revenue. However, the supervision fee only applies to a maximum of HUF10m in costs.

To date, the SZTFH has not yet approved any foreign operators seeking to launch in Hungary, with the sole license awarded to the state-owned former monopoly, Szerencsejáték Zrt, which operates through the online portal. Three Hungarian land-based casinos have also been approved to offer online casino gaming under a tethered license.

Hungary recently introduced further amendments to its Gambling Act in January 2023 to facilitate the new gaming market. Among the changes was the allowance for consumers to have multiple balances linked to each game, replacing the previous limitation of only one balance per player. Additionally, the legislation permits businesses to offer early cash-out options, subject to the same rules and restrictions governing the payment of winnings.

The regulatory authority, SZTFH, has implemented the newly amended legislation on a state agency level through a decree, which includes a new safer gambling feature to accompany the roll-out of early cash outs in Hungary. The decree mandates that gambling operators must explicitly draw players' attention to the increased risk of excessive gambling and addiction associated with using the early cash-out feature. This warning must appear in the same font size as promotional text and be available on the gambling website.


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