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Hungary Plans Poker Tax

Hungarian Poker Association Say Proposed Tax Will Push Players Towards Illegal Games


Hungary's leading poker player Denes KaloHungary is planning to introduce a poker tax according to the Wall Street Journal’s online blog.

The report says Laszlo Keller, the Secretary of State for Finance, intends to regulate live poker and levy tax on winnings but Gergely Tatar of the Hungarian Poker Association says the move could backfire by driving players towards untaxed online games or illegal live games.

Tatar believes the move could restrict Hungary’s development as a live poker destination for some of the world’s biggest tournaments and the government should not over-regulate.

Developing the country as an international destination for poker could, “bring the Hungarian government tax revenues of around €1 million annually, plus all the venues’ corporate and labor taxes,” said Tatar. “Moreover, in a few years’ time, around 1,000 jobs could be created by some 30 to 40 clubs countrywide.”

He estimates that Hungary has between 120,000 and 140,000 online poker players in its 10 million population with players like Denes Kalo performing well on the international circuit.