Pbal Gallery, Budapest’s famous pinball museum, is to reopen on 5 August after a court has ruled that fines imposed on it by the tax authority that forced it to close in early June were unfounded.
The popular pinball hall in Radnóti Miklós utca, District XIII, which describes itself as an “interactive museum”, was visited by undercover investigators from the national tax authority’s gambling unit on the day after its opening, proposing for the museum’s entire stock of pinball machines to be removed from the venue because of their failure to comply with gambling machine regulations. Balázs Pálfi, the museum’s founder and owner, agrees but claims that the machines are exhibits and are not suitable for winning money. Following a number of tax office stings, the museum closed for an undetermined period in mid-June.
The present ruling acknowledges that legally, pinball machines do not clearly classify in every case as gambling machines as defined by the law regulating the area, especially in the environs of an exhibition, the museum wrote on its Facebook page.
The museum’s HUF 500 entrance fee only covered viewing the exhibits; visitors who wanted to test their pinball skills had to pay an additional HUF 2000 to contribute to maintenance costs. Guests who left the establishment before their 2-hour playing time expired were proportionately refunded.