Like many countries, Hungary has a long and complicated history with legal gambling. Recently, however, significant progress has been made in opening our nation to fair and regulated gambling laws. Centered mainly within Budapest, major success stories are becoming increasingly common, so what could be next?
Gambling Law Confusion
The first gambling laws to be enacted in modern Hungary were put to paper in the 1991 Gambling Act. After decades of questionable legalities regarding what gambling took place, these new laws sought to regulate what was then an underground market, to ensure safer play and better outcomes for patrons and casinos alike.
The new rules stipulated that any gambling establishments from that point were to operate under the governance of the Hungarian officials, as an arm of state services.
Since that point, laws have relaxed, allowing for the opening of many establishments should these new businesses operate fairly and openly, and not break general rules of decency.
This has been the case for Budapest’s largest poker rooms, many of which have continually shown themselves to operate at high standards of professionalism.
The most famous ways to enjoy physical poker in Budapest are available within just a handful of locations spread all around the city.
Walking between these businesses is possible, if that’s your preferred method, just be prepared for a few hours on foot. Otherwise, taxi or buses are by far the superior choice.
Most of these poker rooms operate within casinos which are heavily influenced by the legacy of Las Vegas, with at least four of them adopting the Vegas name within their own. Of these, the highest-rated are the Las Vegas Casino Atrium, Tropicana Las Vegas Casino, and Las Vegas Casino Atlantis. For a strictly poker-dedicated experience, players can instead turn the BPoker Club, located in Szilágyi Erzsébe.
Growing Online Opportunities
Another option and one which has been growing steadily in Budapest over the last few years can be accessed through online poker. Again, in a strict sense the laws applying to playing poker online confine those in Hungary to play on only state-operated services. Just as with physical casinos, however, these laws are relaxed as long as the casino in question is operated fairly and professionally.
Because of this, some of the most popular of these services are available internationally including within Hungary, as many of these casinos are already functioning under the strict rules of the EU. This includes access to the full range of games, as well as eligibility for bonuses like deposit matches and free spins.
In the last decade, both physical and online casinos have seen reliable growth not just in Budapest, but all over Hungary.
This raises questions as to what interest the government might show in this sector in the future.
At this point, the government seems content to operate a ‘no harm no foul’ type of system. In the future though, given the growing customer base, it could be very possible that either the laws will officially change, or that state-developed casinos will see widespread adoption.
Until then, both online and brick-and-mortar avenues are well represented, and this doesn’t look likely to change any time soon.
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