The advantage of a nationwide gambling monopoly is that the financial results for a single company provide an accurate depiction of the whole legal betting scene in a country. That is also the case for Hungary, where gambling operator Szerencsejatek just published its figures for 2013.
The news comes just as lawmakers are preparing to vote on opening the market for competition, and the terms under which Hungarian internet casinos and sportsbooks may begin to operate legally.
According to Szerencsejatek, last year’s revenues have hit record highs, exceeding 2011 results by 17.8% and reaching HUF 213 billion (USD 946 million). Volumes have grown in each sector currently monopolized under Hungarian gambling laws, such as lottery games, sports betting and scratch cards.
This provides the company a solid base to build on as it is about to launch internet betting in Hungary, under the Tippmixpro brand name.
The country’s budget has certainly benefited from the local population’s increased gaming enthusiasm, recording a 15.7% increase in tax revenues from the year before, or HUF 60.9 billion (USD 270 million). Furthermore, this amount represents only a part of what the government can spend, as it also has indisputable influence over the company’s sponsorship and grant strategy.
2012 was also an outstanding year for bettors, with a massive 19.7% increase in payouts, to a total of HUF 112.7 billion (USD 500 million). Although none of the lottery prizes broke a record, a lucky 5/90 lottery player pocketed the second largest win in the game’s 55-year history, while the 6/45 game paid the third largest prize since its launch in 1988.
The drastic increase in sales volumes can be explained by several periods of accumulating lottery prizes, which caused more people to buy tickets. At the same time, the UEAF European Football Championship and the Summer Olympics – the latter event traditionally featuring many Hungarian medalists – boosted the sports betting numbers significantly.
The above results are all the more remarkable, since they were realized while the Hungarian economy experienced a 1.7% recession overall.