Hungarian Resident Hit With $87K Fine for Running Unlicensed Lottery
A regulatory authority in Hungary, scrutinizing the operations of gambling activities, announced it imposed a financial penalty against an unnamed individual over organizing illegal games of chance. On Thursday, the Supervisory Authority for Regulated Activities (SZTFH), confirmed it imposed a hefty fine against a private individual that was found organizing a real estate lottery.
The person, whose name wasn’t revealed, faced a HUF 30 million ($87,000) financial penalty. The Supervisory Authority explained that it remains committed to investigating any attempts for illegal or unlicensed gambling. It said that such crimes can be punished with fines that range between HUF 500,000 to HUF 100 million for the organizers.
“The Supervisory Authority for Regulated Activities recently imposed a HUF 30 million fine on a private individual for organizing a real estate lottery as an unlicensed game of chance,“
reads a statement released by the Supervisory Authority for Regulated Activities
At the same time, the SZTFH said that unlicensed gambling is subject to criminal prosecution. Organizers of such events can face a penalty of up to three years in prison, along with fines. Similarly, the Authority safeguards consumers from illegal gambling advertisements. If such advertisements are found, the person involved in the ad, the publisher, as well as the advertising service provider may be subject to fines.
“In unlicensed gambling, the player participates at his own risk, the Authority does not have the authority to enforce the handing over of prizes, and the enforceability of claims in court is also doubtful,“
added the Supervisory Authority
Increased Interest in Lotteries Is Observed
According to the Supervisory Authority, recently, an increase in the interest in different real-estate and high-value items lotteries was observed. It said that in some cases, notaries were involved. However, the Authority reminded, that even if a notary is involved, this doesn’t mean that such raffles or lotteries are legal.
Citing the existing regulations, the Authority said that raffles or lotteries are defined as games of change where a player can win cash or another prize with monetary value in exchange for money. Given that such games rely on chance, this makes them a regulated activity. In other words, businesses, organizations or associations cannot offer legal games of chance without the proper licensing and authorization, reminded the SZTFH.