As it’s already known Unibet International Ltd. has confronted the government of Hungary due to alleged irregularities during the licensing process, the EU officials urged the country’s authorities to review the legislation of their iGaming industry. Unibet’s platform was temporary blocked by the Hungarian authorities for not possessing the corresponding permissions, although the brand considers them impossible to obtain.

Maciej Szpunar, an advocate general of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), has criticized online gambling laws in Hungary, saying they may be in violation of the EU tenet of freedom to provide services. Szpunar was responding to a request for a preliminary ruling from the Budapest Administrative and Labor Court in the case of Unibet International Ltd. vs. Hungaryʼs National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV). In the case, Malta-registered online gaming service provider Unibet International Ltd. is contesting decisions the Hungarian authorities have made blocking its operations in the country by citing unlicensed activity.

In order to provide online gaming services in Hungary, a company is required to register with NAV, according to recent changes to related laws. According to Unibet International Ltd., the distribution of licenses does not take place lawfully, and it has questioned the transparency of the process as a basis of its complaint. According to Unibet, local rules on licensing violate the principle of freedom to provide services enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

“On the basis of the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court answer the questions referred by the Fővárosi Közigazgatási és Munkaügyi Bíróság (Budapest Administrative and Labor Court, Hungary) as follows: Article 56 TFEU precludes national legislation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, that provides that an operator of online games of chance, legally established in another EU Member State, has the theoretical possibility of obtaining a license when that operator is, in fact, impeded from obtaining a license due to the system being either discriminatory or lacking the requirements of proportionality or transparency,” concluded Szpunar.

 

Dan Iliovici - ONJNIn other related news, Romania’s National Gambling Office (ONJN) has appointed Dan Iliovici (Executive Manager – Rombet) as its new president. Dan Iliovici assumes the leadership of the Romanian gambling regulator from Odeta Nestor, who has served as its president since 2013 and oversaw the introduction of new gambling regulations last year.

In our dealings with Dan we found him to be a straight forward person,” said the ONJN in a statement.

 

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