The forint (HUF) is the official currency of Hungary. A central European country with no coastline, it shares land borders with Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. It has a beautiful capital city, Budapest, which sits astride the magnificent River Danube. Historically, it was at the centre of the Habsburg Empire of the 18th and 19th Century, but the old conglomerate of nationalities was split up as a result of the post World War One peace settlement. The country’s current borders were drawn up in 1920, when it lost vast amount of its territory and population to its newly created independent neighbouring states.
1956 saw a brief uprising, which was brutally crushed by Russian tanks, and Hungary remained under communist control until the process leading to the break up of the old Soviet Union began in the late 80s. In 1989, the Hungarian – Austrian border became the first to open, beginning a chain reaction which saw the old iron curtain finally fall. Later in the year, Hungary once again became an independent republic.
Subsequent progress was swift. By 1994, Hungary had joined the European Union, following a national referendum which had supported membership by a massive margin. As a new member, Hungary was obliged to join the Euro, but as in many other EU members, this is a controversial matter. At present, there are no plans to join the Euro and it would be deeply unpopular should the government attempt to do so. It therefore seems likely that the forint will continue to exist for the foreseeable future.
The modern forint was introduced in 1946, and remained relatively stable under communist controls as it was linked in value to the Russian rouble. The collapse of the old eastern bloc and the introduction of the western market economy saw a period of turbulence which lasted for several years before things settled down. The 21st century has seen the currency remain reasonably stable, with the current value of the forint settling at just under 400 to the British pound at the time of writing.
Bingo does have a following in Hungary, with several sites offering online bingo sites with Hungarian versions. Most prefer the Euro when it comes to making payments, although some of the larger, more international betting portals do indeed accept the forint, including Bet 365 and Unibet. For United Kingdom based online bingo sites, it’s probably best to stick to the pound or the Euro too, although Hungarian expats could always try their luck at Bet 365.