Hungarian challenge for Sportingbet

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The Hungarian Government has initiated legal proceedings against the English online bookmaker Sportingbet.

The Hungarian Gambling Supervision complains that the betting site launched last July is in direct violation of the Hungarian Gambling Act. “Sportingbet is operating without the appropriate license”, claims the Hungarian Government. According to paragraph 267 of Hungary\’s criminal code, organizers of illicit gambling could be sentenced to two years in jail.

“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,” Sportingbet CEO Nigel Payne said.

Payne noted that Hungary, as a country part of the EU, is fully signed up to the EU constitution and â€œa member country cannot pick and choose which parts of the EU Constitution and laws it applies,” he argued. “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.