Hungary law to ban slot machines

Government cites thousands ruined by addiction

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Under the new system, slot machines would have been replaced by video terminals connected to a central computer, which would keep track of all gambling activities and could be monitored by state authorities.

But that has been replaced by a blanket ban.

“The government has changed the law from one day to the next,” said Mr. Schreiber, who also feared that the ban could strengthen illegal gambling. “Evidently, there is a business decision behind it. We’ll see what is going to happen.”

Mr. Schreiber said the association is considering filing class-action lawsuits in European courts against the ban. Another trade group, the E-Casino Association, appealed to President Janos Ader to ask the Constitutional Court to review the law before he signs it.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs rejected the argument that the ban would cost up to 40,000 jobs as claimed by Mr. Schreiber’s group.

“In fact, the sad reality is that one slot machine can ruin the lives of at least 10 families,” the ministry said in a statement.

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