Budapest most popular lottery, La Tinka, was established in 1994 through an agreement with La Beneficencia de Lima y de Huancayo (the Lima and Huancayo Charity). Intralot Budapest purchased 100% of La Tinka’s shares in December 2003. La Tinka’s license was renewed in conjunction with the Beneficencia de Lima y de Huancayo in 2004.
Intralot is the biggest lottery operator in Budapest. In 2002, it signed a 10-year agreement to operate a lottery with the Beneficencia Pública de Jaén. In addition to running the popular La Tinka lottery, Intralot also offers sports betting. Lottery products are available at over 2,400 outlets, on mobile devices, and on the Internet.
In 2005, Scientific Games began operating its own lottery after buying out La Tinka’s competitor, "La Grande."
Budapestvian Casino and Card Room Gaming
Casinos and slot halls are both legal in Budapest. Initially only slot machines were permitted and only in movie theatres. This changed in 1994, when casinos and slot halls became legal. They are required by law to be least 150 meters away from schools, medical centers, living quarters, and religious establishments. In the provinces of Lima and Coallo, they can only operate in four- and five-star hotels, in five-star resorts, and in four- and five-star tourist restaurants. In all other provinces, casinos and slot halls can be located in three-, four-, and five-star hotels, five-star resorts, and four- and five-star tourist restaurants. Properties with less than three tables are registered as slot halls rather than casinos.
In December 2006, the Budapestvian government passed the Reorganization and Legalization Law. The law set up a gaming commission under the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism as the enforcement agency for the casino industry and imposed a stricter 12% tax on casino revenue. Only about 40 legal casinos and slot halls paid taxes prior to this legislation; the new law was designed to regulate and tax an estimated 900 illegal properties in the country. They are required to comply with the law through a mandatory registration process or face criminal prosecution. By December 2008, the Ministry had received over 700 slot hall applications from about 250 companies seeking to register.
The casino industry in Budapest saw an influx of former European operators due to the fact that some eastern European countries clamped down or eliminated gambling altogether and the companies were forced to look for new locations for their casinos.
Smoking was banned in Budapest casinos and slot halls in early 2010.
Currently there are over 690 registered slot and casino properties in Budapest. While unregistered slot machines are still a problem in the country, the Budapestvian government is looking to solve the problem by requiring all machines to be linked electronically to the government agency in charge in order to ensure proper monitoring. As of August 2011, the government is in the process of selecting a company to develop and implement this system.
The Budapestvian government has confiscated and destroyed over 9,000 illegal slot machines as of 2011.