The Hungarian online casino landscape is an example of how the local authorities can maintain monopoly despite intervention from the EU. With no hopes of seeing a liberalized market, Hungary has quickly turned its attention towards international brands. When looking for an awesome Magyar online casino, Hungary may not be the easiest of regions in the world to find it. That’s why we’ve put together a list of websites that not only accept Hungarian players but also deliver HUF currency as a standard. Heck, some of them even offer the website and customer support in Hungarian!
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As mentioned above, the online gambling environment in Hungary isn’t the most permissive or diverse. That’s happening because of the government that placed a tight monopoly on all land-based and online gambling products in the country. Enjoying online casino games in the country is legal, but that only applies to licensed online casinos or sportsbooks. And here comes the interesting part, because to be able to get a license to operate online, operators need to, first of all, get a valid concession from the Hungarian State to run a land-based casino. Then, to provide online casino services to Hungarian players, the owner or main shareholder needs to get a license from the National Tax and Customs Administration – the local regulator that oversees all gambling operations in the country.
With so many requirements and hoops to jump through, it’s no wonder that there’s just one online casino licensed in Hungary. Vegas.hu is the sole website where Hungarian players can enjoy online casino games, and it’s the online equivalent of the Las Vegas Casino Group, owned by film producer Andy Vajna. Things get even worse when talking about online sports betting in Hungary, as the only place where punters can enjoy online betting is Szerencsejatek.hu.
This solid grip by the Hungarian state on land-based and online gambling is in place ever since 1991, when the Act XXXIV on Gambling Operations was put into effect. Even though there were some updates to this act in 2005 and 2015, the amendments followed the same direction of closing the market to any outside interference. A blacklist for any online gambling operator accepting Hungarian players was introduced as early as 2014 with big names such as Unibet, Bwin, Ladbrokes or Sportingbet standing out. For their determination to remain active on the Hungarian market, believing the EU law permitted their operations, Sportingbet even got a consistent fine.
Finally, the EU cancelled any infringement against EU countries on gambling laws, so it looks like the local authorities win for now. One of the few good news coming towards the Hungarian government about gambling is that winnings from both land-based and online gambling are not taxed, and the minimum age for gambling sits at 18, compared to other countries that pushed it up to 21.
With all the sustained efforts to block international online casinos, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you are not able to access one of your favorite sites. However, using a reliable VPN software should solve all your problems. Furthermore, a lot of online casino operators with blocked domains in Hungary offer mirror sites (sites hosted on an alternative domain), so that players can still enjoy their favorite online casino games.
Following Sportingbet’s legal battle against the Hungarian state, multiple other big brands decided not to take the ban so easily. So, despite their websites being added to the blacklist, some domains were never actually blocked. In other situations, operators continued to deliver online casino services but stopped the online sportsbook operations altogether.
Bet365 is one of the biggest international operators that maintained its door open for Hungarian casino players. Not just that, but bet365 also offers the website fully translated in Hungarian for a smoother experience. Despite not offering HUF as a currency, bet365 casino has a very appealing welcome bonus for new players from Hungary and a range of top casino games from the best providers in the industry.
William Hill is another one of those top-rated online casinos that are still operating in Hungary. Boasting their amazing online casino games offer, perfectly optimized for mobile and a website entirely translated in Hungarian, William Hill is one of the top choices for players in the country. The welcome bonus they hand out to new players is another good reason why they score so high in popularity.
Unibet had their disputes with the Hungarian authorities, and despite the EUCJ ruling in their favor, they still can’t penetrate the market. However, through mirror websites, Unibet managed to bypass the Hungarian blacklist and is accessible to local casino players. Appealing welcome bonuses, promotions for returning customers, a fully-translated website, and Hungarian customer support make Unibet a very good choice.Exclusive HU Casino Bonuses
The unavoidable question that everyone is asking – is www.vegas.hu a match for any of the online casinos we listed above? To answer that we will compare the services of both Vegas.hu online casino and the offshore casinos, so it’s all transparent. Let’s start by taking an in-depth look at what Vegas hu brings to the table. While the online casino is definitely not the worst we’ve seen (especially for licensed brands holding a monopoly in a certain market), providing a nice offer of games from multiple big providers like NetEnt, Play ’n GO, EGT, Merkur, or Novomatic, the absence of Microgaming games is going to be felt by most casino players. International casinos Casinia, 1xslots or Wazamba, boast the full offer of Microgaming slots and table games.
Even if you’re not a big fan of Microgaming slots, the massive progressive jackpots they offer can’t really be matched by anyone else in the industry right now, despite efforts from NetEnt. SuperCat casino, on the other hand, offers Mega Moolah, Cash Splash and Major Millions, three of the best progressive jackpot slots.
In terms of promotions, the only licensed casino in Hungary does a decent job with the welcome package. However, there’s not much going on in terms of reload offers and daily promotions. Lastly, the live casino product is built in-house, and that can definitely not rival the top-quality games offered by providers like Evolution that can be found at 1xSlot or PlayOJO.
With such constant pressure from the Hungarian authorities, some of the big operators in the industry decided the struggle is just not worth it and decided to leave the market altogether.
One of the first big operators to leave the country, bwin Magyar did so after they were added on the infamous blacklist. They tried to challenge it together with other big brands. However, with little success in their attempt, they finally decided to exit the market in 2013.
Ladbrokes, the British gambling giant, had a similar fate in Hungary. After being added to the blacklist, numerous EUCJ appeals, and legal battles, Ladbrokes Magyar finally announced that they’re just pulling out of the region. It happened towards the end of 2014, so they lasted a good year more than Bwin, but the end result was the same.
Betclic and Coral are other big names in the industry that decided the legal situation in Hungary is just too much to put up with, and decided to step back in the end.
Due to the turbulent nature of the region when it comes to online casinos and gambling in general, it’s important to know what to look for. That’s why we’re going to talk about those distinctive attributes that make a great playground. Whether it’s opting for brands that accept the local currency along with supporting convenient and reliable banking methods or simply delivering a localized experience both in terms of a translated website and a Hungarian Customer Support team, it’s important to know the right criteria guiding you to the best online casino experience in the Hungarian area.
Accepting HUF is one of the first conditions for a casino to make itself appealing to a Hungarian player. Besides making it hard for players to find a good online casino, Hungary also imposed certain restrictions on payment options in a foreign currency. So, besides the advantages of not having to think about conversion fees and knowing exactly how much you need to deposit and what bonuses you claim, playing in HUF also gives you a wider option of deposit methods. Top online casinos such as Casinia, 1xSlots, LV Bet or Wazamba are the ones we recommend for playing in your local currency.Sites Accepting HUF
As previously mentioned, as if the restrictions on online casinos were not enough, the Hungarian authorities also passed a law that forces local banks to block transactions to and from offshore online gambling companies. OTP Bank, K&H Bank, Budapest Bank, and CIB are some of the biggest financial institutions that will no longer process any card transaction or bank transfer. So, you should avoid using your credit or debit card even if, by a miracle, you can still use it – bet365 stopped accepting these cards quite a while ago.
So, your best bet when using international online casinos in Hungary is to go with ewallets or pre-paid cards and vouchers. For example, Neteller and Skrill have managed to escape the multiple restrictions and are excellent since they offer instant payments, double down as withdrawal methods and cashing out can take as little as 24 hours to complete. There are some fees when charging your account via card or bank account, however, it shouldn’t go over 2.5% for Neteller and 1% for Skrill. PaysafeCard is also a great deposit option, even though you won’t be able to withdraw with it. From a local payment options perspective, there’s not much to talk about. Very few online casinos offer them, and the only one that manages to capture some attention is SimplePay.
Developed by OTP Bank, SimplePay was quickly embraced by Hungarian players. It offers a modern mobile payment method that allows players to play directly from their bank accounts. You confirm the payment on your phone, and if your number is not registered with OTP you will have to pay a 100 forints fee. Deposits are instant though and allowing you to pay directly from your bank account. Unfortunately, it can’t be used for withdrawals as well. However, the low minimum deposit of 10,000 HUF makes up for that. Most offshore Hungarian casinos don’t offer it though. The only Hungarian brand providing it so far is the local Vegas.hu.
As an extra measure to make sure you found the best online casino possible, there are some other things to look after when shopping for a new venue to enjoy your favorite slots and table games.
Compared to the legal online casinos, the land-based offer in Hungary is richer. There are multiple such venues across the country. The biggest ones are Las Vegas Casinos Budapest – the same one that offers the only licensed online casino, Grand Casino Debrecen and Onyx casino.
Despite its famous name and a very luxurious building hosting it, the Las Vega Casino Budapest isn’t that diverse in its game offer. Ther are 30 slot machines and a total number of 21 table games including blackjack, roulette and poker. The minimum age to enter is 18, and there’s no entrance fee. However, when put against any of the online casinos in our list, Las Vegas Casino Budapest simply doesn’t stand a chance. Take 1xSlot online casino, for example, which offers almost 3,000 slot machines and hundreds of table games from the comfort of your home. Which one would you choose? Not to mention the huge welcome bonus, as opposed to having to play with your funds only at the land-based location.
If the biggest casino in the country didn’t really put up a fight against its online counterparts, you can imagine how things will go from now on. Debrecen also offers a casino that, surprisingly, offers more slots than the one in Budapest. With 240 slot games on the offer, it is really impressive. However, the 5 table games available there rapidly killed our suspense. PlayOJO online casino, for example, gives you more than 50 table games to play at, most of them with a live dealer as well so you won’t even feel the difference.
Another Hungarian land-based casino that focuses on slot machines, Onyx casino boasts a bit over 230 such games. However, it has even fewer table games than Grand Casino Debrecen stopping at 4. With no progressive jackpots or special promotions to reward players, this casino doesn’t stand a chance to an online opponent such as Casinia. The multi-million progressive slots, coupled with amazing bonuses all along the way make it clear where you’d get better treatment.