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Hungary’s online gambling law not in accord with EU’s treaty for free movement of services in the union

Athira A

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Photo credits: CalvinAyre.com
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It was identified that the law on the permission of licenses for the operation of brick-and-mortar casinos and that relating to the grant of licenses for the provision of online casino services in Hungary are not in sync with EU’s treaty for the advancement of services without hindrances across the union, according to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

With regard to this, in a statement given yesterday, Europe’s top court explicated its latest ruling on Hungary’s gambling regulations, emphasising that certain provisions in these were out of accord to the established EU-wide laws.

CJEU’s ruling was in association with a case brought by UK online gambling operator Sporting Odds. The operator had preceedingly been found to have extended online gambling services in Hungary irrespective of not possessing a license from local regulators.

In 2016, the Hungarian Tax Authority detected Sporting Odds’ breach of the country’s gambling regulations and fined the operator HUF3.5 million (approximately $13,600). Sporting Odds brought the matter to the country’s Administrative and Labor Court (Fővárosi Közigazgatási és Munkaügyi Bíróság), requesting annulment of the tax authority’s fine.

The Hungarian court, in turn, turned to CJEU to rule whether the country’s existing regulations for the provision of games of chance at brick-and-mortar facilities and via the Internet were in breach of EU regulations.

Under Hungary’s gambling regulations, only operators of land-based casinos across the country are able to obtain licenses from local regulators to provide online casino games. CJEU ruled today that that particular provision in the country’s gambling law represents a “radical restriction” of EU treaties for the free movement of services across Member States.

Europe’s top court also pointed out that Hungary’s gambling law discriminated international online casino operators without physical presence in the country and prevented them from entering the local market.

Hungarian gambling regulations contain provisions for the organization of calls for tender for interested operators. However, the country has not launched any such calls, as noted by CJEU. The court further pointed out that another provision that required operators to be present in the local market for at least a decade so as to be eligible for a license without having to participate in a call for tender further disadvantaged international companies.

CJEU issued a similar ruling in a case involving major online gambling operator Unibet last summer. Unibet had been fined by Hungarian regulators for providing unlicensed gambling services to local players. The operator, in turn, brought the issue to court, arguing that Hungary’s gambling regulatory framework put it at a serious disadvantage to local gambling operators and seeking to have the penalty dismissed.

CJEU ruled that the Hungarian Tax Authority could not impose fines as the country’s restrictive gambling system was not compatible with treaties for the free provision of services within the European Union.

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Industry News

Playson Reports Great Success at ICE London 2020

Niji Narayan

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Playson Reports Great Success at ICE London 2020
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Casino software provider Playson has reported great success at ICE London 2020.

This year was the company’s busiest ICE yet, with 85 pre-scheduled appointments and more than a dozen on the spot meetings each day at February’s massive event held at ExCel London.

The Playson stand at ICE welcomed over 1000 delegates including several of the trade news media, all eager to learn about the exciting products. The supplier’s impressive range of engagement tools were on display along with its ever-burgeoning slot portfolio, which includes hits such as Fruit Xtreme and Red Chilli Wins.

Playson also hosted its ICE London 2020 Tournament, with a new game Playson game featured every day at the stand and one lucky player taking home a set of Apple AirPods every day.

“This year’s ICE London 2020 was a huge success and our stand was a hive of activity for the whole event. We look forward to next year which will see us returning bigger and better than ever!” Alex Ivshin, CEO of Playson, said.

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Compliance Updates

UKGC Suspends Operating Licence of Addison Global

Niji Narayan

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UKGC Suspends Operating Licence of Addison Global
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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has suspended the operating licence of Addison Global.

“We have decided to commence a review because we suspect that Addison Global has breached a condition of the licence and is unsuitable to carry on the licensed activities. We consider it appropriate to suspend the licence with immediate effect pending the conclusion of the review,” UKGC said in a statement.

The licence suspension makes it illegal for Addison Global to offer gambling services via its moplay.co.uk website in Britain but does not prevent the operator from returning any outstanding balances to customers.

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Conferences in Europe

Prague Gaming Summit 2020 speaker profile: Elina Safargulova (Head of Marketing at Slotegrator)

Alex Marginean

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The 4th edition of the Prague Gaming Summit will take place on 6 March 2020 and welcomes leading operators, service providers and gambling industry experts from all across Europe.

On the 6th of March at the Prague Gaming Summit, you have the opportunity to dive into several subjects, among which also the “Gambling And Casino Games Via Social Media And Online Technologies”

As mentioned in earlier press releases, Prague Gaming Summit 2020 will bring a brand new format of speeches and more trending themes as it did in the early years.

Among the leading experts that will share their latest information, you have the opportunity to hear more about the future of gambling and casino games on social media from  Elina Safargulova – Slotegrator

A graduate of Media studies, Elina holds a degree in Journalism and Communications, and extensive experience in B2B and B2C marketing in iGaming, Esports, and Online Gambling industries.

Her background includes experience in social media and digital marketing, content writing, journalistic collaborations, media advertising, product development, events, and brand management.

Her career path in the iGaming industry begins as a Marketing Executive at RTG, where she’s learned the know-how of affiliate and B2C marketing from the seasoned industry professionals.

Later on, she joins an Esports startup, where she plays a key role in content creation, product and business development,  and activations on partnerships with giants such as ProSieben, Astralis Group, RFRSH Entertainment, Borussia Dortmund (BVB) and others.

At the beginning of 2019, Elina joins Slotegrator, a B2B software provider and aggregator, focused on online gambling business. As a Head of Marketing, she has been implementing the acquired skills of modern content and digital marketing strategies, focusing on bringing knowledge and value to the customers in the iGaming sector, as well as building strong and lasting relationships with media and business partners.

Do not miss this unique opportunity to learn and networking with the leaders of the industry.

Order your Delegate Pass or VIP Package (Delegate Pass +Accommodation) now!

Here is a testimonial that has been left by Charmaine Hogan, one of the attending delegates of the 2019 edition of Prague Gaming Summit:

This most recent event was a rich one. The diversity of speakers and the structured topics provided a platform for real debate, presenting food for thought for many. I’m sure I/we will pick up on the very relevant topics again at this event.

Charmaine Hogan

(Regulatory & Public Affairs, International Relations, Policy Development Expert)

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