|The Hungarian Government has launched legal proceedings against Sportingbet, following the launch of the company’s Hungarian betting site last July. The Hungarian Gambling Supervision complains that the site is in direct violation of the Hungarian Gambling Act, which states that gambling organizers must be majority owned by the Hungarian state.|
Sportingbet CEO Nigel Payne has countered by saying Hungary, as a country fully signed up to the EU constitution, is contravening EU law in adopting this stance. “Hungary is one of a small number of countries where the government has a tax protectionist monopoly. It’s a treasury-driven tax strategy, as the government, through the state’s gambling chain, takes tax from citizens at source,” he said.
“Free-trade policies within the union mean the Hungarian government is in no position to restrict other EU-based companies from offering their services to citizens, he added. “This is stated in the EU’s Constitution, and having talked personally with the responsible people within the EU, they will uphold this law if it is challenged,” he said.
“I can categorically state that we will not stop our service in Hungary, nor should we, as legally we do not have to,” he said. “A member country cannot pick and choose which parts of the EU Constitution and laws it applies.”