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Hungary’s restrictive online gambling laws slammed by CJEU

George Miller

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Court of Justice for the EU - Hungary
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hungary’s prohibitive online gambling rules exclude the country from taking enforcement action against online gambling operators licensed by other European Union countries, according to The Court of Justice of the EU.

 

In a ruling handed down on yesterday, the CJEU ruled that Hungary’s new online gambling regime had unjustly excluded EU-licensed operators from the country’s licensing process. The case had been brought by the Kindred Group’s Malta-licensed Unibet brand.

 

Background

The Budapest-Capital Administrative and Labour Court asked the CJEU whether Hungary violated the freedom to provide services for imposing administrative fines and temporary ISP blocking measures against an EU licensed and regulated operator, whilst it failed to publish a call for tenders and did not enable the operator to submit an application for the purposes of obtaining a Hungarian license. In 2014, the European Commission sent an EU Pilot letter to Hungary in reaction to the changes in the Hungarian gambling framework, in which it emphasized the negative impact on the freedom to provide services.

 

Finally, the CJEU ruled against Hungary imposing fines against Unibet, saying “where a restrictive system has been established for games of chance and that system is incompatible with Article 56 TFEU, an infringement of the system by an economic operator cannot give rise to penalties.

 

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA: “The Court reiterated that Member States must guarantee that national regulation on online gambling services meets objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate criteria. Only a properly regulated and transparent online gambling market can ensure that the consumer is channeled to the regulated offer.

The Court’s ruling is a clear message to other Gaming Authorities, including the Dutch Gaming Authority, that they must not enforce regulation that does not comply with basic EU law. We expect these Member States to reconsider and lift these enforcement measures as they are acting in violation of EU law. Their actions do not serve the interest of consumers, they fail to channel the consumers to reliable providers, instead they merely prop up failed regulation.“ added Haijer.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Central Europe

More Hungarians Ban Themselves from Gambling This Year

Niji Narayan

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More Hungarians Ban Themselves from Gambling This Year
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Gambling addicts have had the opportunity to make significant self-restraint statements at the Hungarian Gaming Authority since January 1, 2016. More and more people are taking advantage of the opportunity and banning themselves from different types of addictive habit. So far, 150 people have requested this year to be banned from gambling at the Gambling Supervisory Authority.

As per the data from the Gambling Supervisory Authority, in 2016, 76 people had already requested the ban, but the number is increasing every year. In 2018, a total of 218 people restricted themselves from gambling. This year, 150 people have requested to be banned from casinos and arcades so far, compared to the 107 this time last year, so the trend seems to continue.

The Authority data also shows that the majority of those concerned opt for the longest ban of five years, but more and more people ask for short-term self-restraint as well.

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Central Europe

SYNOT Games Signs Supply Deal with Superbet

Niji Narayan

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SYNOT Games Signs Supply Deal with Superbet
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SYNOT Games has signed a supply deal with Romanian gambling operator Superbet. The deal will see SYNOT Games’ full suite of casino games go live with Romania’s leading operator. The move has been authorised by the Romanian gambling regulator, ONJN.

SYNOT Games said in a press release that through a successful integration process, its complete library will gradually become available to Superbet’s gambling customers. Players will thus gain access to a number of popular titles, including Respin Joker, Alchemist’s Gold and Fruit Awards.

The Superbet deal comes as part of SYNOT Games’ European expansion strategy. The company revealed that it had obtained licenses by the Danish Gambling Authority and the Portuguese gambling regulator that would enable it to distribute its content in Denmark and Portugal through partnerships with locally licensed operators.

SYNOT Games CEO Ivan Kodaj said that they are “happy to support Superbet’s offering with a list of fresh and entertaining titles with a proven record on the market.” Mr. Kodaj went on that this latest deal highlights their “increasing popularity and market presence” and gives them “further recognition on the regulated markets.”

Heather Faulkner, Head of Online Gaming at Superbet, added that “SYNOT’s portfolio is something we are enthusiastic to finally have” and that they are confident “this will be a long-lasting relationship given the reputation the provider has earned itself over the last few months.”

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Central Europe

Totalizator Sportowy Hits PLN5.2 Billion in Overall Sales 2019

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: livecasinoreports.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

Olgierd Cieślik, the President of Totalizator Sportowy, has announced that his company’s new Total Casino product had returned profits of PLN48m to the government since the site’s launch in December 2018.

Total spending on the site hit PLN2.3b, of which all but PLN100m was returned to the site’s customers, whose ranks currently stand at over 64k. One of these lucky customers won a PLN514k jackpot in July, the biggest payday in the site’s eight-month history.

Totalizator Sportowy’s overall sales in the year to date hit PLN5.2b, almost equalling the PLN6.1b sales figure the company generated in all of 2018. Cieślik said Total Casino’s performance to date has “not only met our expectations, but are better than we expected.”

Besides Totalizator Sportowy, Poland currently has 14 online gambling licensees, all of which are limited to sports betting. The government protects these licensees by constantly expanding its blacklist of unauthorised online gambling domains deemed to be serving Polish punters without local approval.

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