Hungary is a country which has not clearly defined its online gambling laws, so online casinos in the country remain a point of contention. Officially, there is not a specific set of rules or even a single law which prevents Hungarian players from visiting online casinos and playing. However, there are no legal, nationally licensed online casinos in the Eastern European country. If you are wondering what this means for you as a player, you have come to the right place. It is time to look closer at Hungarian online gambling laws and learn what the best online casinos in Hungary entail.
An Overview of Gambling in Hungary
Hungary’s gambling laws mostly come from the 1991 Gambling Operations Act, specifically Act 44. Subsequent amendments include Decree Number 329, which was passed in November 2015. Under these laws, horse racing and sports betting are considered legal in the country. State monopolies run these, and they are heavily regulated.
Online bingo is permitted but rarely found and seldom popular in the country. Lotteries are a different story. These are run by Szerencsejáték, a state-sponsored group and these can be played online and, in a land-based capacity. At the same time, while popular in Hungary, poker has high tax rates attached to it. This means playing poker games in Hungary is becoming increasingly difficult due to the lack of poker rooms. Where do online casino and land-based betting fall then?
Officially, land-based betting is possible at Hungarian licensed venues. Online casino gaming is only legal at online betting sites which are owned by those brick-and-mortar venues, and even then, the operators need to hold a Hungarian online license. Although the groundwork has been laid down for this to happen, no Hungarian online casinos are currently in operation.
Instead, Hungarians tend to flock to international betting sites and online casinos. Officially, Hungary forbids its players from joining these sites and does run a blacklist to cut down access to these domains. However, thus far, any Hungarian with a half-decent VPN (virtual private network) can around those blocks. Hungary does not have any punishments in store for players who break this “rule”, but the country has come in for flack from the European Union over its stance towards offshore operators based elsewhere in the European Union. Proposed changes have reportedly been in the pipeline for years, but thus far, they have not really amounted to anything at all.
Hungary’s Most Played Casino Games
We know that many thousands of Hungarians do bet online, and most will opt to wager at offshore casinos. What do they play, though? The following is a brief run-down of the types of games which tend to be played most frequently by Hungarians.
Slots: Most Hungarians who choose to visit offshore and foreign casinos do so to play online slots. As the casinos they play at are international domains, Hungarians can often play a wide variety of titles from a top-notch selection of software providers.
Table Games: Table games are considered games of skill and games of chance in Hungary, which is tricky as the former are permitted and latter, not so much. However, by playing at offshore casinos, Hungarians have access to all manner of traditional casino table games without limitations.
Live Dealer Casino Games: There are not many live dealer casino games which can be played in Hungarian, but a few do exist. These tend to be blackjack and roulette games. Again, Hungarians must head to international casinos (notably those powered by the most prominent providers) if they wish to play live dealer games.
Poker Games: Poker used to be one of the most popular ways to gamble in Hungary. As the tax rate increased on poker games, the availability of these games decreased. Today, there are not many poker games on the fly, but Hungarians do play them at foreign domains. Texas hold’em continues to be the game of choice for many Hungarians.
Lottery Games: Hungarian lottery games are commonplace across the country and can be played both online and in land-based betting outlets. It is worth noting that the state monopoly runs Hungarian lotto games. However, international lottery sites are becoming increasingly more popular in Hungary, so this is an avenue which can be explored, too.
Sports Betting: Sports betting seems to be incredibly popular no matter where you reside, and Hungary is no different. While Hungarian sportsbooks are available, the country tends to prohibit international sportsbooks. Hungarian players are known for playing both at nationally endorsed sportsbooks and foreign ones, as the latter tend to offer arguably better odds and a wider variety of markets.
Taxes on Big Wins at Hungarian Casinos
Hungary has strict tax laws on operators. The gambling taxes for operators tend to be enough to ensure that very few operators remain open for business for long. Of course, the state monopoly run sites seem to manage okay. It is worth noting that poker rooms in Hungary are now virtually non-existent because of a whopping tax that the Hungarian gambling authorities slapped down on poker operators.
The current gambling tax laws are in a state of flux, and new taxes have not yet been announced. Thus far, there are no taxes on anything you win when playing at online casinos, even if they are based offshore. However, there are gambling taxes on lottery games. It is not uncommon to see lottery operators withhold taxes of 16% up to 24% (based on what you win) from your winnings. This has been a cause of frustration in Hungary, as many other European Union countries refuse to tax their citizens on lottery wins.
The Best Hungarian Online Casinos to Join Today
As we have already mentioned, if you wish to bet online at casinos, you are going to have to head to an international online casino site. Hungary has not licensed any online casinos thus far. There are no real punishments for doing so, so Hungarians can choose from a massive array of domains if they can get around simple blacklists. Because not all foreign sites and offshore casinos are ideal for Hungarians, you may need to break down your search using specific criteria. Here are a few of the things you may wish to look for in the best Hungarian online casinos…
Safety and Security: No online casino in Hungary has been licensed by the Hungarian gambling authorities. As such, players need to head to foreign casinos to play. These casinos might be licensed out of Curacao or Panama. However, the best casinos to play at are those licensed out of the United Kingdom, Gibraltar, or Malta, as these tend to be the most regulated and always serve up responsible gaming to players.
Fair Bonuses and Promotions: Not all promotions and bonuses at offshore casinos are going to be open to Hungarian players. Some may be restricted to players in specific regions. With that in mind, always checks the eligibility requirements for any casino’s promotions. Moreover, it would be best if you only claimed promos and bonuses which offer fair terms and conditions, such as wagering requirements. Most of the best Hungarian online casinos based offshore will meet these requirements.
Hungarian Options: For Hungarians who can speak English, the necessity to play in Hungarian is not as great. These players can join virtually any offshore casino. However, there are foreign sites which do offer Hungarian language gameplay, too. On top of this, players may also wish to check for Hungarian-friendly payment methods and customer support in Hungarian. Finally, players are going to want to make sure that either the US dollar or the Hungarian forint is accepted as a currency. Hungarians who want to bet using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum will also likely have this option open to them at some casinos.
A Great Array of Games: As mentioned earlier, the Hungarian gambling authorities are a bit funny with what games their players can enjoy, and which they cannot. With that in mind, if you do decide to play at an offshore casino, you should try and pick one which offers a vast array of different games. Many top international domains provide sports betting options, bingo games, lotteries, casino games, poker and much more besides. These are the sites you should try and aim to join. Just make sure that their games are fair and certified.
By using the criteria above, you should be able to find a very agreeable online casino which offers gameplay to Hungarians. However, it can still take quite a bit of effort to find such a website. Fortunately, our page also lists a top array of leading Hungarian online casinos. All our sites have been vetted and approved for Hungarians based on the criteria already discussed. If you are thinking of joining an online casino which is based offshore, then as a Hungarian player, you cannot go far wrong by selecting any of the best Hungarian online casinos we recommend.