A precedent for online gambling

30 November, 2017

The Budapest Court of Public Administration and Labour declared in its judgement yesterday that Hungary violated the fundamental freedom to provide online gambling services and acted unlawfully when it imposed fines on foreign operators and banned access to their websites. The decision may affect hundreds of pending lawsuits in Hungary.

In line with the preliminary ruling of the European Court of Justice announced earlier this year, the Budapest Court of Public Administration and Labour confirmed the arguments raised by bpv JADI NEMETH Attorneys at Law acting on behalf of Trannel (previously Unibet) International Ltd. In its yesterday judgement the Budapest court held that the Hungarian legislation on the authorization of online games of chance was not compatible with the principle of the freedom to provide services, because the restrictions were discriminatory, non-transparent in nature and infringed on the freedom of establishment. Dr Andrea Jádi Németh, Managing Partner of bpv JADI NEMETH Attorneys at Law highlighted: “We believe the yesterday's court ruling can be considered as a milestone and may have a major impact on the future of Hungarian online gambling regulation. We also hope that the judgement can be effectively relied upon in hundreds of proceedings now pending before the national courts. EU law sets forth strict requirements regarding Member State legislation on online gambling. The regulation adopted by Member States should always be transparent, proportionate and non-discriminatory. To establish a national legislation that is compliant with EU law standards is our common interest. "