Since the draft amendments to the Hungarian online sports betting regime have not been challenged in the respective TRIS procedures, Hungary is free to adopt the proposals that would enter into force on 1 January 2023.
As we have reported in this February, the legislator’s intent to open the Hungarian online sports betting market became apparent from its TRIS notifications no. 2022/66/HU and 2022/67/HU sent to the Commission. The draft amendments included a number of essential modifications relevant to private operators, which we have briefly summarised in our previous article.
Due to the rules of TRIS procedures, the Hungarian legislator could not adopt the proposals until the standard standstill period of 3 months have passed, in which both Member States and the Commission were free to make observations on the Hungarian proposals. The Republic of Malta has seized the opportunity and submitted a detailed opinion, however the Commission did not take the chance to do so. The latter approach fits into the agenda introduced in 2017, according to which for the Commission it is not a priority to use its powers in the area of online gambling services.
Importantly, the lack of action from the Commission does neither mean its approval of the drafts nor the EU law compatibility of the proposed laws.
The extended standstill period has expired in early June, thus Hungary is now free to introduce the proposed changes to the Hungarian gambling regime. It is now up to the Hungarian Parliament to adopt the draft bill if the political support is still behind the inititative.
The text of the draft bills suggest that, if adopted by the Parliament, they are planned to enter into force on 1 January 2023.
Finally it is recalled that the drafts do not contain relevant amendments to the online casino games regime, under which only land-based casino concession holders can provide online casino games.