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Parliament rushes, passes new gambling law

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After speeding up consideration of amendments on gambling law in Hungary, Parliament this morning approved new law which allows for the foundation of 11 new casino outlets in the country to join the three currently operating.

The bill was introduced by András Aradszki of KDNP and György Balla of Fidesz.

Under terms of the new law, up to five licenses will be granted for operations in the Budapest/Pest County area, with three each for the Transdanubia region (which includes Baranya, Fejér, Győr-Moson-Sopron, Komárom-Esztergom, Somogy, Tolna, Veszprém,Vas and Zala counties) and Eastern Hungary. One new casino may operate per 500,000 inhabitants within a given area.

At present, two casinos operate in Budapest and one in Sopron, near the Austrian border.

All new gambling houses will be termed “Class II” casinos, capping the limit at 300 slot machines per. A previous amendment to prevailing national gambling law allows casino operators to write off concession fees against the required taxes.

Local news outlet Világgazdaság reported in late November that 11 cities had reported interest in casino establishment: Balatonfüred, Debrecen, Győr, Gyula, Hévíz, Miskolc, Nyíregyháza, Pécs, Szeged, Szentendre and Szombathely.

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