Szerencsejáték Zrt, the state lottery company, achieved outstanding results during the first two quarters of the year; its revenue of HUF 148 billion (EUR 470 million) exceeded revenue for the analogous period last year by HUF 36bn, an increase of 32 percent and the highest ever rise since the founding of the company, President and CEO Kálmán Szentpéteri announced at a press conference held jointly with Minister of National Economy Miklós Seszták in Budapest on 11 August 2014.

According to Minister of National Economy Miklós Seszták, the national budget has received HUF 35.4bn in revenues from the activities of the state lottery company during the first six months of this year, an increase of 21 percent compared to the same period last year. The company posted after tax profits of 8.671bn forints, an increase of 55 percent compared to the same period last year.

The lottery company has become one of the country’s ten largest taxpayers, the Minister said, stressing that four years ago one of the objectives of the Government had been to do away with negative preconceptions according to which state-owned companies do not operate as efficiently as their market counterparts.

DownloadPhoto: Tamás Horváth

According to Mr. Seszták, Szerencsejáték Zrt. has disproven this misconception: state-owned companies can contribute significantly to the budget with their balanced and effective operation and are capable of becoming efficient and profitable businesses. The company has managed state assets responsibly and has become more competitive, he declared.
The Minister also spoke about the fact that the company has also contributed to increasing employment, providing a supplemental income to some two thousand retailers in addition to its own employees. 180 of the company’s 1500 employees are disabled, thanks to which it has been awarded the title of Disabled-Friendly Workplace.

Gambling tax on the company’s various lottery types also serves to further the National Cultural Fund and the National Film Fund, in addition to which it also spent HUF 3.7bn (EUR 11.8 million) on sponsoring sports during the first six months of the year. The Minister of National Economy congratulated the company’s every employee on the results achieved.

President and CEO Kálmán Szentpétery stressed that the company had closed its most successful two quarters since the company was founded in 1990. Pre-tax profits significantly exceeded HUF 10bn, an increase of over 50 percent compared to the HUF 6.6bn achieved in the similar period in 2013.

DownloadPhoto: Tamás Horváth

The revenues generated by every single type of game run by the company have increased since last year, with the exclusion of the football pools. Two-thirds of the company’s revenues are provided by lottery-type games, among which the Ötöslottó (5/90) weekly lottery produced the most outstanding results; the accumulation of the jackpot to HUF 3bn lead to extra revenues of some HUF 4bn. Over HUF 84.7bn (EUR 270 million) was paid out to winning lottery ticket holders.

Sports betting achieved its best ever week during the FIFA World Cup and scratchcards are also becoming increasingly popular: revenues for the product group increased to HUF 29.6bn during the first six months of the year, an increase of over 40 percent compared to the similar period in 2013.
Mr. Szentpétery explained that 56 out of every 100 forints of revenue are paid out to winning customers, 4.1 percent goes towards income tax on winnings, the gambling tax is 14.5 percent and the ratio of other direct taxes and contributions is 2.5 percent, while 4.9 percent is paid out to sales and distribution partners. According to the President and CEO, 17-18 percent remains out of the gross revenue, of which 6 percent represents the company’s pre-tax profits and the remaining 12 percent goes towards paying the salaries of the company’s 1500 employees. Every single forint is earmarked for something, he said.

He also pointed out that revenues have been increasing year by year from HUF 213bn in 2012 to HUF 243Bn in 2013, with revenues for this year are expected to reach or even exceed HUF 280bn. According to Mr. Szentpétery, the commitment of the company’s employees has contributed significantly to increased efficiency, and among improved services recently introduced by the company, he emphasised the fact that lottery games can now be played via smartphone.

According to Mr. Szentpétery, negotiations are underway regarding the involvement of Szerencsejáték Zrt. in the organisation of an international lottery, but he was unable to provide further information for the moment.

(Ministry of National Development)