The online gambling providers in Latvia feels disappointed about the government’s decision to ban the current operations of online casinos in the country. They have represented their rage in front of the government by putting an allegation for seeking significant financial reimbursement.
As a result, Latvian authorities have aggravated the fight against players and unlicensed gambling operators. The Latvian parliament has accepted the modifications made by the national legislation in April 2020. The new rules are planned to ban gambling on portals of international gambling operators who are operating in Latvia without any license.
Background of the Problem
Janis Tregers is the head of the Latvia Association of International Gambling. He has reprimanded the government’s decision to prohibit gambling activity along with land-based operations of casinos in a fight with the COVID-19 pandemic. He considers this decision against any economic logic.
The online companies run by Latvia are facing fatal effects due to the state’s decision. Since the government has declared the ban on March 24, 2020, there is a drop of active gamblers in the market by 26%. The head of Latvia Association of International Gambling also mentioned that by declining the industry’s revenue to zero would be like a death to local markets.
What Will Happen?
Internet providers and financial institutions are obliged to report personal data for the citizens of Latvia who employed the services of unlicensed gambling casinos. These players are expected to pay a fine of 350 euros per incident. Players who avoid taxes for winnings are also fined in such a situation.
When the internet providers were obliged to ban illegal sites, at that moment, the inception was performed by Latvia on gambling and lotteries that have blacklisted more than 1500 gambling domains. However, according to the news by media, internet providers blocked only 30% of domains from the blacklist. Since 2004, Sputnik Latvia presents around 800 blocked domains by the
Gambling Supervisory Inspection of the Republic of Latvia.
According to the head of Latvia Association of International Gambling , the international license providers will acquire a prominent position in the region. The members of Latvia Association of International Gambling are ready to provide 20 million euros to the government. This could be one-third of all employees in state medical institutions to accept more wages.
Till December 2018, Latvia provided a gambling license to nine operators including Optibet, Olympic Entertainment Group, 11.lv, BetSafe and PAF. According to the official report, the licensed operator of the preceding year generated an overall revenue of 41 million euros. On this note, H2 gambling also said that every third gambling operators have a license on the Latvian market.
Janis has also highlighted the other potential issues for the operators. He reminded the operators about the 2008 economic collapse and how much time it took to recover from that overall sector. This ban could have similar consequences along with a notable tax shortfall in the upcoming years.
The CEO of Latvia Association of International Gambling also stated that the government’s intention to prevent excessive and unnecessary spreading could also be achieved in many different ways without banning online gambling operators. This could often include the mandatory setting of time and spending limits.
The Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of Latvia have also requested a clarification from the government about its final decision to ban gambling operators. On March 20, 2020, surprisingly, the Latvian parliament accepted the government’s proposal to shut down the gambling halls and ban online gambling at the time of the pandemic.
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