Gov’t earmarks HUF 600 mln for new independent gambling watchdog

Telco

Hungaryʼs government has approved more than HUF 600 million in personnel and one-off costs towards establishing an independent gambling oversight authority, a resolution published in yesterdayʼs issue of the official gazette Magyar Közlöny shows.

Tuesdayʼs government resolution also created a separate budget item for the new authority within the national development ministry chapter. 

The government decided to establish a separate gambling oversight authority as a central budget organization in early July. At present, a department of the National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) is the watchdog for the gambling sector. 

The new authority will get HUF 322.5 mln for personnel-related costs this year and the annual appropriation for the purpose will grow to HUF 498.1 mln from 2018 on, the resolution shows.

The government also earmarked a HUF 300 mln budget to be spent on other one-off extra costs, including IT, this year. A further HUF 81.3 mln is to be spent on establishing the conditions for the operation of the independent authority in 2018.

Additionally, the new authority, together with the national infocommunications service provider NISZ, is required to review the options for its independent IT operation, and the minister for national development and the minister of interior will have to submit a proposal on the related additional budget funding necessary to the government by September 15. 

Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said earlier that an independent watchdog could exercise better oversight, and that the task will also require more people.

NAV issued 180 licences for gambling activities last year. It conducted more than 13,000 oversight procedures and levied over HUF 1.7 bln in fines for unsanctioned activity, mostly unlicensed online betting.

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