Friday, February 03, 2006
Hungary sticks to ban on online gaming advertising

The Hungarian Gambling Commission has come under attack by Sportingbet, an online gambling company licensed in Antigua & Barbuda, for not allowing their advertising.

The Gambling Commission has ordered Sportingbet to stop advertising its gaming services to Hungarian citizen, as this is only allowed to license holders in Hungary. Sportingbet, which does not have such license, nevertheless targets the Hungarian market. It runs a Hungarian language site and offer bets on Hungarian sports events.

Not discouraged by the many legal rulings against unauthorised betting in EU member states, Sportingbet has filed a complaint with the European Commission, arguing that prohibiting a private company from performing the same activity as a state-owned company goes against EU principles.

Like all other EU member states, Hungary refers to the existing EU case law, which allows individual member countries to uphold their own gaming laws.

The IFHA supports the principle of jurisdictional integrity on gaming matters and rejects the policies of soft jurisdictions to license internet gambling companies to offer services to countries where this is forbidden by law. The IFHA has notably filed a complaint against Malta with the European Commission against hosting such betting websites.