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MSzP: Betting at tobacco shops makes “National Addiction Shops”

Two more national tobacco shops will install online betting terminals pursuant to the law that established a government monopoly on the retail sale of tobacco on July 15, 2013, the newspaper Népszava reported yesterday.

The law stipulates that National Tobacco Shops may have the stations installed if there are no other such stations within a radius of 500 meters; currently only one national tobacco shop, located in Vác, has installed an on-line betting station, according to Népszava.

Naturally, reaction to this unexpected potential boon in profits to a few “lucky” shop owners already burdened with high profit margins demanded by the national government was swift.

MSzP shadow cabinet minister CsabaTóth was quoted early an often when he cited the allowance of bookmaking in national tobacco shops as just another example of Fidesz cronyism. An official statement promised that an MSzP-led government would close the “National Addiction Shops” and begin a “comprehensive inquiry into Fidesz corruption.”

The Hungarian Horseracing Betting Organizer (MLFSz), who provides the Vác outlet and will supply future tobacco shops with the betting terminals, declined to provide estimates of expected income on the service when asked by a Népszava reporter, but that ‘paper did report that bookmakers in the Kincsem Park area can draw HUF 5 million to HUF 6 million on an average day of live racing.

– Material by Gergő Rácz was used in this article