Hungarian Regulator Adopts New Amendments to the Gambling Act

Hungarian gaming regulator SZTFH issued a decree implementing new technical measures in response to the amendments of the Gambling Act.

In February 2022, Hungary introduced legislation to repeal its state-dominated sports betting market and replace it with a competitive licensing process similar to that of many of its neighboring countries. The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in 2017 that the previous system was unlawful.

The new regime launched on January 1, 2023. It provides that the operators who wish to receive an authorization from the SZTFH must have at least five years of experience offering licensed online gaming in a state that is part of the European Economic Zone. 

The law also expressly prohibits companies from obtaining a license if they have engaged in unlicensed gambling within the last five years.

The law established a HUF 10m ($29,000) application fee for operators. In addition, businesses must have a share capital of at least HUF 1Bn, pay a licence fee of HUF 600m – as well as pay a supervision fee and gaming tax amounting to 2.5% and 15% of gross gambling revenue respectively. The supervision fee only applies to a maximum of HUF 10m in costs.

As of today, the SZTFH has not yet approved any foreign operators to launch in Hungary, having only issued a licence to state-owned former monopoly Szerencsejáték Zrt. Three Hungarian land-based casinos are also approved to offer online casinos through a tethered licence.

Hungary amended its Gambling Act in January 2023. In order to facilitate the new gaming market, more technical changes have been implemented.

Previously, a player could only maintain one balance with an operator. Now consumers may have multiple balances linked to each game under the new rules. 

Among other changes, the legislation also allowed businesses to make it possible for users to cash out early if the game is designed in such a way. According to the text, cash out will be subject to the same rules and restrictions governing winnings payment.

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