Queen Maria Teresa Habsburg was the person behind the implementation of the national lottery in 1752. This was the first gambling jurisdiction and mainly focused on lotteries. Horse racing and card games were also popular in the 19the Century. After World War II, most countries in Eastern Europe adopted socialism.
The socialist ideologies were all about equality but strongly discouraged individual enrichment. Consequently, many forms of gambling were considered illegal, except horse race betting. There was no internet those days, so gamblers could not access the lottery online. In 1947, the government passed the Toto Pools to raise funds for the 1948 Olympic games.
The Hungarian national lottery was revived in 1957. It grew so fast, and no stakeholder talked about enforcing equality. Monthly draws gave players a chance to acquire valuable goods they couldn’t have accessed during the socialist era. Lottery prizes ranged from villas, flats, cars, and domestic appliances.
In January 2007, the Gambling Supervision Department took over the betting control. Then, they changed the name to the National Tax and Customs Administration or NAV in 2011.
According to NAV, the minimum legal age for participating in Hungarian Lotto is 18 years. The participants must register first in the lottery platforms.
Lottery nowadays in Hungary
Lotto players from Hungary enjoy new advanced iLottery games from Szerencsejáték Zrt. and other global providers. The state owns the company 100%, allowing it to operate other gambling services like sports betting and casinos. Like other public lotteries in the world, Szerencsejáték amasses substantial revenue for the national budget. The money is used in sports and social welfare programs. There are more than 7,700 authorized lotto retailers in Hungary.
Those who prefer an online lottery site need a bank account to fund their tickets and receive potential prizes. Overseas players are also welcome to play Hatoslottó (Lotto 6) and other online lottery games by Szerencsejáték. Those without a Hungarian bank account can use third-party services to purchase tickets.
Being the largest lotto provider in Hungary, Szerencsejáték sells draw tickets, sports bets, and number draw games. The company uses an online sales channel and a vast retail channel to reach as many lotto players as possible. The lottery products are accessible via the official website, SMS, and phone.
Currently, Szerencsejáték offers six number draw games and about 15 to 20 prize draw games. About 67% of the adult population in Hungary, which accounts for five million players, buys lotto from this company. As a result, the company takes over 50% of the gambling market share.