Hungarian casinos experienced a significant increase in visitor numbers and revenues in 2012, according to state-owned gambling monopoly Szerencsejatek.
Although the company was sharing these Hungarian gambling news in relation to its own establishments, that in itself covers most of the local casino scene: Szerencsejatek owns one of the country’s three casinos and has a minority stake in a second one.
Those two casinos generated a revenue of HUF 2.7 billion (approximately EUR 9 million), a 35% increase from 2011. Figures from the third, privately held, casino have not been made public, but they are believed to show similar trends.
Average daily visitor numbers have also increased from 250 to 400 players.
According to Szerencsejatek, traffic increased noticeably following the hurried ban on slot machines in October 2012. Since those amendments to Hungarian gambling laws shut down all slots across the country with the exception of the ones operating in licensed casinos, a number of slots enthusiasts began visiting these establishments.
The current number of slots operating at brick-and-mortar casinos is around a modest 170 for the whole Hungarian slots gambling community. That number is still greater than what is legally available over the internet, considering that there are no online casinos in Hungary.
Meanwhile, most slots operators whose business had been shut down exited the country looking for new markets.
“The largest Hungarian e-casino operators are under termination, some are holding out for a miracle, hoping for a new government concession to come along. Many, however, have opened new e-casinos, from the Caribbean to Romania,” said Krisztian Vaszil, president of the country’s E-Casino Professional Association.