A proposed gambling law in Hungary could severely harm the land-based slots industry, as the Hungarian Civic Union is attempting to vastly increase slot machine taxes. According the proposal, gaming operators will have to pay €70 000 in taxes per machine per month.
This would be one of the highest slot machine taxes in Europe, as other countries charge only a little over €1000. In Germany, operators pay €1300 per machine while Italians pay about €1600. Hungary does not have a considerably more active slots industry than either country, so operators are unsure as to why the Civic Union is asking for such a large amount of money.
According to Stephen Schreiber of the Hungarian Gambling Association, the tax would impose far more tax restrictions than the industry can sustain. He states that he average slot machine has 240 players per month, who spend considerably less than €70 000.
He believes that the law would be the end of the slots industry, which has already seen a vast decline in recent years. Over 8000 machines have already been shut down, as the global recession prevented operators from being able to pay the current taxes. With an increase this large, the industry will see many more slot machines being removed.