BUDAPEST: Hungarian media reports that a casino company owned by Hungarian film commissioner Andrew Vajna received concessions to operate five gambling casinos in Budapest, a government decision that led to the protest resignation of the president of the Hungarian Gambling Alliance.
Slot machines were banned by the government in late 2012, leading to speculation that the government was planning to sell lucrative gambling concessions. Only seven concessions were granted. The other two went to another well-connected businessman, who operates outside the Budapest region.
Vajna owns Las Vegas Casinos Kft, which reported turnover of 3.9 billion HUF in 2012. The law establishing the basis for concessions was introduced on a Sunday at the end of 2013 and quickly passed the next day. The concessions are expected to add 1 billion in VAT revenues to the national budget. The concessions cover a ten-year period. Critical news sources have questioned the opaque structure of both the process of granting the concessions and the ownership structure of Las Vegas Casinos Kft.