Hungary’s six-month-old ban on slot machines in pubs and arcades is boosting revenue and visitor numbers in the country’s casinos, where the machines are allowed.
Casinos owned by the state lottery operator, Szerencsejáték, saw gaming revenue climb to US$11.5 million in 2012 from $8.5 million the year before. Daily visitor counts have almost doubled from 250 to 400.
Szerencsejáték owns a controlling stake in a casino called the Tropicana and a minority stake in a casino in Sopron operated in partnership with Casinos Austria. The Tropicana’s slot count has gone from 44 to 86 since the ban. Sopron houses 60 machines.
Hungary’s only other casino, the privately owned Las Vegas, has 65 machines.