Online betting in Hungary is fully legal and regulated. Betting sites can operate as long as they have a licence granted by the government and the people are free to gamble online.
This has been the case since 1991 which is good for punters as it means the biggest operators are well established (Bet365, Unibet, William Hill etc.) so as a resident you get to choose from the absolute best possible options from bookmakers based all over the globe.
Check out the key facts about the countries gambling laws below and find a list of legal and licenced Hungary betting sites to open an account with.
Key Facts: Online Gambling In Hungary
- All forms of gambling legal since 1991.
- Land based gambling monopolised by government backed Szerencsejáték Zrt.
- Online gambling legal with all licenced operators.
- Unlicensed gambling sites often blocked by Hungarian government.
- Legal gambling age in the country is 18+.
Best Hungarian Betting Sites: Top 3
Gambling Legislation & Law Timeline
Since gambling was first legalised in Hungary in 1991, there have been plenty of legal twists and turns when it comes to the shape of the industry. The following timeline provides a brief overview of those changes:
1991 – Gambling Act
It was the wide-ranging Gambling Act of 1991 which first legalised gambling in Hungary and turned it into a fully regulated industry.
The act dictated that gambling would be overseen and regulated by the NAV (the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary) and essentially created a state-backed monopoly over the industry. That monopoly meant that all gambling activities would be run and provided by Szerencsejáték Zrt and that services provided by others were unlawful.
2007 – European Commission Challenge
Following complaints and protests from a number of gambling operators across Europe, the European Commission waded in on the topic of Hungary’s gambling monopoly. The organisation requested that the Hungarian authorities open up their online gambling industry and failure to comply would have seen the matter referred to the European Court of Justice.
2012 – Gambling Act Amendments Come Into Force
After several years of discussion and disagreement, amendments to Hungary’s Gambling Act finally came into force on January 1st 2012. These amendments made it legal for online operators other than Szerencsejáték Zrt – whether they are based at home or elsewhere in the European Economic Area – to provide gambling services to Hungarian citizens. Amongst the same raft of amendments, however, slot machines outside of Szerencsejáték Zrt owned casinos were outlawed.
2013 – Further Amendments
Further amendments to Hungary’s gambling legislation were delivered in 2013. These included a more general opening up of the country’s sports betting and online casino industries and the allowance for licences for up to 11 casinos to be granted.
2016 – Present Situation
To date, the opening up of Hungary’s online gambling industry hasn’t had a great deal of practical impact. Restrictive licensing conditions, tax rates imposed upon operators and confusion over how to gain a licence has put many operators off from moving into the market.
That being said some of the biggest players are in the market with the likes of Unibet challenging Hungary’s gambling laws and winning the right to keep their doors open and avoid fines.
Are Players Taxed On Winnings?
Rates of taxation are a hot button issue when it comes to online gambling in Hungary. It is these, after all, which have played a huge part in putting off overseas based providers from legally moving into the Hungarian market.
When it comes to Hungarian punters themselves, however, the story is a far more positive one. To date there is no income tax applied to winnings made through gambling, with the Hungarian government instead choosing to tax at source (the gambling providers and operators). There is a thought, however, that the government are looking to increase tax revenue from gambling and as such this situation may change.
Recommended Deposit Methods
Currently there is no reason for a punter to consider legal or taxation issues when it comes to depositing with online gambling sites which are licensed and regulated in Hungary.
As such, depositing using debit or credit cards is generally speaking the most efficient and most secure deposit method available. Some punters, however, do like to have a greater degree of anonymity when it comes to their deposits and this can be delivered by the use of e-wallet services such as Skrill.