Government Itching to Wager on "Hungo Vegas" - Sunday 12th of June 2005

The government wants to help an investment group build a "small Hungarian Las Vegas" in Bezenye, Magyar Hírlap reports today. It seems that the unidentified punters somehow convinced the ministry of finance to join their game, and the ministry is suggesting that Parliament change the laws on gambling so that the continent's largest casino complex can be built in Bezenye. For its part, the ministry would show Parliament how to shuffle the legal deck, and throw down a tax allowance or two, in the hopes that, if the casino is a hit, it might be able to make its money back, and then some.Currently, there are no laws or regulations covering large casino complexes in Hungary.

So for "Bezenye Vegas" to be built, the laws would have to define a "first category" and a "second category" casino. Bezenye would be in the first category, and the smaller ones - currently operating in the country under different regulations - would become second category establishments. The ministry of finance determined that the length of such concession contracts would be 20 years.While Hungary's mini-casinos currently pay a 30% "game tax," the Hungo Vegas proposal offers a different solution.

The more money the casino makes, the less tax it would have to pay: 30% for the first Ft 5 billion in earnings, and above that Ft 1.5 billion and 25% of the remaining amount. And if the house makes more that Ft 10 billion, the tax is Ft 2.75 billion and 10% of any addition profit.Despite the proposed tax allowances, the state would immediately receive Ft 500 million if the Bezenye casino complex is built, this being the price of the concession to build and operate a first category casino in Győr-Moson-Sopron County. But if anyone has plans for a competing Hungo Vegas (or HungoReno) in Pest County they'd better be even more certain that it's a sure thing, because for the area around the capital the minimum bet is Ft 600 million.

www.pestiside.hu

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