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Advertising for Online Casinos Tested

A ruling on a case brought against online casinos and sports betting firm Sporting Bet case by the Hungarian government is about to reach the Hungarian courts. The case is being followed closely by operators of online casinos. If the Hungarian government is successful, the case could set a precedent that would ban advertising of online gaming in Hungary without exception. The Hungarian Gambling Commission has adopted a tough approach toward online casinos marketing their services to Hungarian casino players in recent years and has decided to take Sporting Bet to court to prove its point.

The case is the latest in a string of disputes between online casinos and the Hungarian government. Sporting Bet was first informed by the Hungarian Gambling Commission that its advertisements for its online casinos contravened advertising standards due to the company failing to produce a license that allows it to operate in Hungary. In its defense, Sporting Bet responded that the government is unable to prohibit advertising as it goes against EU principles. Currently the firm advertises their gambling services over the internet in Hungarian, encouraging casino players to participate in poker and sports betting at the firm’s online casinos.

The case has been reviewed by European Union officials at the request of Sporting Bet; however litigation is proceeding. Similar cases involving online casinos have been brought to the attention of other governments in recent years. A highly publicized case involving an advertising campaign for online casinos firm Victor Chandler made headlines in the United Kingdom last year. The firm was subsequently deemed to be in accordance with advertising standards.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.