Report: Restricting slot machines to casinos increases visitors


The number of visitors to Hungarian casinos saw a sharp rise chiefly after slot machines were banned from pubs in the fall of 2012, according to state secretary András Tállai’s written response to a query by István Ikotity MP of green party LMP, Hungarian online daily reported today.

Data sent by Tállai revealed that visitor numbers to Hungarian casinos rose from 205,000 in 2011 to 300,000 in 2012 and increased to 639,000 in 2013 and 810,000 in 2014.

In the first half of 2015, visitor numbers reached 606,000, although Tállai noted that the number of casinos in the country had risen from three to eight, as the result of new concession contracts signed in the spring of 2014.

The amount casino visitors spent on gambling rose from HUF 33.1 bln in 2011 to HUF 44 bln in 2012, HUF 100.6 bln in 2013 and HUF 128 bln in 2014, according to Tállaiʼs letter, while casino visitors spent HUF 88.4 bln in the first half of 2015.

Las Vegas Kft., owned by government commissioner for the Hungarian film industry, Andy Vajna, won concessions to run five casinos in and around the capital this past September.

The Hungarian Parliament approved a bill under which online casino games can only be operated by firms that have casino concessions, which means exclusively Andy Vajna and Gábor Szima, who own all the casino concessions in Hungary, online daily reported at the beginning of July. 

Hungarian weekly Heti Válasz said Vajna allegedly built his empire by transferring profits from his Casino concessions and most funds acquired in Hungary to an offshore company in the United States. 

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