a) Hungary / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 13-09-1994 / e) 1814/B/1994 / f) / g) Alkotmánybíróság Határozatai (Official Digest), 9/1994 / h) .
Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:
General Principles - Market economy.
Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Commercial and industrial freedom.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
Competition / Monopoly, state.
The State, under the Hungarian Constitution, has wide discretion in defining the range of the exclusive property of the State.
The State has similar freedom in deciding whether the State itself exercises the activity declared to be a State monopoly or gives concessions to others.
It is the discretionary right of the State to define the conditions for the exercise of the State monopoly or the conditions of the concession. The economic activities within the range of a State monopoly are not part of the sphere of economic competition.
In this case, the claimant challenged a provision of the Law on the Organisation of Gambling which provides for one regulation for certain games (e.g. lottery, bingo, horse-races) and a different one for others. He also challenged a provision of the Law on Personal Income Tax that favoured incomes from selling lottery tickets. These provisions were attacked on the grounds that they favoured the organiser of these games, namely the State.
The question to be decided by the Constitutional Court was whether the exclusive economic activity of the State was part of the sphere of economic competition or not. According to the Constitution, «the range of the exclusive State property and the exclusive economic activities of the State shall be determined by a Law». The Constitutional Court decided that activities within the range of State monopoly are not part of market competition. The essence of a monopoly is that the State excludes competition from certain economic areas.