|EUROMAT outrage at Hungarian slot machine eradication|
Friday, 5 October 2012 – The Hungarian Parliament has this week adopted legislation which provides for a total ban of all gaming machines, having no regard for the devastating social and economic impact of its decision. The only exemptions to this legislation are those gaming machines that are located in casinos which are licenced by a state-owned monopoly. In an extremely aggressive and anti-competitive move, the Hungarian Government has completely blind-sided the industry, and has left it no time to react.
According to data provided by EUROMAT’s Hungarian member association, MSZSZ, up to 40.000 European citizens currently employed -directly or indirectly- by the Hungarian gaming and amusement industry could lose their jobs in a matter of days. This alarming figure comes on top of the 20.000 people who have already lost their job as a result of the Hungarian Government introduction of an arbitrary increase of the gaming tax in November 2011. Moreover, the Hungarian gaming and amusement industry has made significant investments in the past months, as it was preparing, in particular, for the launch of server-based gaming, in accordance with new laws that were introduced earlier this year.
“The Hungarian Government has not only completely disregarded constitutional and EU laws, as well as the European Convention of Human Rights, but has clearly failed to understand the broader impact that its actions will have on society and economy in Hungary and across Europe”, said Annette Kok, EUROMAT’s President. “There are clear precedents which will be used to ensure that this anti-competitive move by a Member State will be challenged not only before the Hungarian Constitutional Court, but in particular also before the EU Institutions, the European Court of Justice and the Court of Human Rights and EUROMAT is ready to provide full support to its Hungarian member, MSZSZ, to do so”, Annette Kok stressed.
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Note to Editors:
EUROMAT is the European Gaming and Amusement Federation, established in 1979, represents manufacturers, distributors and operators of gaming machines outside casinos of 18 European countries with a combined industry turnover of 21 billion Euro, directly employing approximately 250.000 European citizens, and accounting for 27% of the overall gambling sector. EUROMAT’s membership includes 23 national gaming associations from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France (observer), Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Spain and Sweden.
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