How sports betting works in Hungary

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

In the past, foreign gambling operators had difficulty getting a license to operate in Hungary. Hungary had always been adamant about protecting its citizens from irresponsible gambling and unscrupulous sites. This stance did not augur well with foreign operators who felt that its laws were highly prohibitive. Moreover, its citizens were antsy about the reduced opportunities to place wagers and make good money. It was only a matter of time before Hungary had to bow to the pressure and ease its laws. 

What Has Changed?

While foreign operators did not have the right to operate in Hungary, they often found ways to reach the Hungarian market. But now, they do not need to do so illegally. According to the new proposals in Hungary's recent gambling law changes, foreign operators can now operate in Hungary. That means that Hungarians can now look forward to scrolling through more options on when deciding where to place a wager. However, there are some caveats to the new laws:

  • Foreign operators will need to seek permission from the Hungarian gaming regulator before they can start offering their services, and
  • Only operators in the European Economic Area will have access to these perks.

As such, the market is not fully open to all gaming operators, but it is a step in the right direction. Currently, the laws are not clear on how many permits will be available to the public. But the new proposals dictate that credit and debit cards will only be accepted if linked to authorized payment providers. It will be a while before Hungarians can enjoy the benefits of cryptocurrency payments on gaming sites.

Why the change of heart? Hungarian laws are in place to protect players. Even so, the authorities recognize that they cannot keep their heads buried in the sand. Citizens have continuously devised ways to gamble on offshore sites, some of which have not held up their ends of the deal. And some citizens have fallen victim to theft, while others have developed problem gambling. The authorities hope that by permitting some of these foreign sites to operate, they can control gambling to a greater extent and thus protect their people. 

The license will not come easily to operators. They will need to part with about $3 million in capital, $2 million in fees, and an undetermined tax amount. While these new proposals are not yet in effect, foreign operators are already gearing up for the opening of the market. It’s expected that by mid-2022, the authorities will start processing the new license applications.

How Can You Take Advantage of These Changes?

Even before the 2022 gambling proposals, online gaming was rife in Hungary, with many international bookies targeting the citizens. And this works in your favor as bookies must now offer you lucrative bonuses to get your attention. So, take advantage of the free bets offered to all new and returning players. If used right, the winnings from these bets can carry you through an entire season and give you enough bankroll to keep playing for the next one. Of course, this requires a lot of strategies coupled with a sound bankroll management system. You should also consider the wagering requirements tied to each offer as they determine what you can make out of them. 

The other thing to note is that you will receive all your winnings because Hungarian laws tax the operators and not the players. How great is that! But to ensure that this applies to you, always use banks or credit card providers with favorable processing fees.

Keep in mind that betting is illegal for anyone aged under 18. As you wait for the new laws to take effect, you can choose a reputable betting site, place a wager, sit back, and enjoy the ride. Have fun!

This article was written in cooperation with PLTD