Betting is a big part of Hungarian culture, dating back at least to the 19th century when various forms of gambling and Hungarian betting related activities were ubiquitous facets of life in any fairly populated city. Recent developments in betting online as well as shifting public perception to such practices has caused many significant changes to the Hungarian betting and online gambling industries, although they remain familiar elements of the Hungarian social fabric to this day. Betting online in Hungary is a market that is rapidly growing.
Legalities Of Hungary Betting Online
Betting online is essentially legal in Hungary, and there are even several online betting firms that cater to the local market. These establishments are required to pay taxes to the government, the amount of which is dependent on the type of operation, whether they are casinos, prize money machines, draws, lotteries or other types of organized type betting.
There have been quite a few developments in the country’s history with regard to the legality of betting online in Hungary. Aside from the passing of the Gambling Act of 1991 mentioned previously, a fairly significant development was the push of the European Union towards a more liberal government policy with regard to the local gambling industry, which would allow more local as well as foreign companies to tap into the lucrative Hungarian gambling market. In spite of increased pressure by the EU however, the government maintains a strict monopoly on gambling and betting related activities in Hungary.
Another milestone of sorts was the decision of the government to regulate Internet poker beginning in October 2009. Under new legislation, poker was deemed a game of chance, and therefore fell under the category of gambling and betting online related activities in which the state has sole rights.
Future Of Betting Online For Hungarians
The Szerencsejáték Company currently has no less than 300 official outlets across the country, although it does provide access by way of 3,600 other outlets throughout Hungary. In addition to running the state lottery, Szerencsejáték also offers a variety of sports betting options. Many of the games of the company where introduced to the online world in 2002, and Hungarian players were finally allowed to place bets online, albeit by SMS only.
In a situation mirrored in many countries throughout the world, the main issue is now how to deal with the reluctance of international online bookmakers and betting sites to accept wagers from Hungarian players. The biggest obstacle seems to be the illegality of sending and receiving betting funds through Hungarian banks, although many players do manage to carry out Internet betting activities despite these restrictions.
Hungary’s Betting History
It was in the 1880s that horse race betting was made available to the Hungarian public by way of Parimutuel. Under this system, gamblers could purchase tickets quite easily from many tobacco shops and lottery offices scattered throughout the city. The state of local gambling stayed pretty much the same way for many years until the passing of the Gambling Act in 1991. This law effectively granted a company called Szerencsejáték a state-backed monopoly on all types of sports betting in the country. This ruling is in effect until 2020.