Ban on Hungarian Pokies Challenged

The European country of Hungary has been hit by protests following the introduction of reforms by the country's right wing government that affect many aspects of daily life for Hungary's citizens. Amongst the reforms introduced by Prime Minister Viktor Orban is a ban on gambling machines, including pokies and slot machines across the country.

Introduced on October 10th 2012 the ban on gambling machines has been introduced in an attempt to slow the use of poker and slot machines by poor people who are not deemed to be able to afford to play such machines. The ban on the games and forced removal of all gambling machines from sites around the country has seen over 4,500 machines taken out of operation in Hungary.

Legal and political battles have begun as the law banning pokies has been challenged as unconstitutional by members of the Hungarian government. Mate Szabo, the parliamentary ombudsman for basic rights is challenging the ban because businesses and the public have not been given enough time to prepare for the introduction of the new law. The ban on gaming machines is one of a number of new laws and reforms introduced by Prime Minister Orban's government that include changes to the electoral system and alterations to Hungary's higher education system.


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