New Tax on Hungarian Poker Winnings Sparks Protest Tourney

by , Jan 12, 2010 | 3:05 am

You know, we may wanna start paying attention to Europe. Here in the US, we’re screaming pretty constantly, re: poker, “regulate, regulate, regulate!” And yet across the pond these days, there seems to be a lot of, “whoa, maybe not so much!”

One current hotspot in the European poker theater: Hungary. So much so that players are staging protests — peaceful poker tournaments in Budapest subway stations — to express their dismay with recent amendments to Hungary’s Gambling Act.

photo: Veronika Gulyas

Apparently, the Hungarian Poker Association is a bit tilted by new regulations put on poker clubs, and a new tax on poker winnings … that some say are meant to push players out of the clubs and force them into Hungarian casinos. (They’ve already got five, and a new Hard Rock Casino is set to open in 2012.)

Interestingly enough, according to the Wall Street Journal “New Europe” blog linked to above, the one kinda poker you can play tax-free is mobile-phone poker, where it costs just $2/day for the right to play for real money.

UPDATE: A video of the protest (in Hungarian):

(Thanks, PokerString!)

5 Comments to “New Tax on Hungarian Poker Winnings Sparks Protest Tourney”

  1. Alicia

    Given that it’s Europe, they should consider themselves lucky that they don’t get the whole thing confiscated while being told they’ll get it back in social programs.

  2. DanM

    Love seeing you get all riled up about anything related to taxes. Now shouldn’t you be reading the Kiplinger’s stories?

  3. PokerString

    There is a video of the protest, which took place in Budapest at the end of december, there:
    (in Hungarian, but fun anyway)

  4. DanM

    Thanks, PS, I have added it to the main post.

  5. Alicia

    Dan – You know I’m a passionate woman! LOL

    btw, sorry it took me so long to respond, I was reading Bloomberg