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Slot machine ban in pubs boosts business at casinos

A ban on slot machines in pubs introduced last October has boosted visitor numbers and revenue of casinos, where the machines are allowed, business daily Világgazdaság said on Friday. Revenue of casinos owned by state lottery company Szerencsejáték rose to HUF 2.7 billion in 2012 from close to HUF 2 billion in 2011. Daily visitor numbers climbed to 400 from 250, the company told the paper. Szerencsejáték owns a controlling stake in the Tropicana and a minority stake in Casino Sopron. Its business partner in the latter is Casinos Austria. The number of slot machines at the Tropicana rose from 44 to 86 after the ban was introduced. There are 60 slot machines at the casino in Sopron. Hungary's only other casino, Las Vegas Casino, owned by the film producer Andy Vajna, has 65 slot machines. Most of the companies negatively affected by the slot machine ban have wound up or have moved their business to other countries, E-Casino Association chairman Krisztián Vaszil told the paper.