Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Privatisation of racing and betting in Hungary

According to the national racing authority, the Hungarian government is about to issue a call for tender for the privatisation of racing and betting. According to the current law, state owned companies organise the races and operate the race course and the betting. These companies receive a license which is renewed every two years. The last license has come to an end on 31 December 2006.

The new licensee, a private company, would benefit exclusivity on both the racing and betting side and in addition will have the ability to offer sports betting. The license will include both fixed odds, as well as parimutuel betting and will include an exclusive online license.

The precise conditions of the tender are not yet known, but it is expected that it will allow more off-course distribution. Today, there are 9 betting shops and around 20 sales points at bars and tobacco shops.

The licensee will also have to purchase the race course, which amounts to 83 hectars and a training center 20 kilometers outside Budapest. The deadline for the call for tender will be 28 February. The licenses will be for 20 years, renewable for another 10 years.