The Latvian parliament (Saeima) has passed a bill on June 5 that effectively allows the return of gaming. Under the bill, both online and land-based gaming operations can return to business. As a result, the gambling industry in Latvia is planning to return as of June 9.
All gaming operations in Latvia were banned after a bill introduced on March 22. This was a direct result of the country’s government aiming at reducing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Back in April, the Latvian government updated the bill, effectively banning online gaming with instant effect.
With the Latvian bill being passed, operators can resume operations as of June 9. Despite the gaming industry losses, some Latvian deputies disagree. New Conservative Party members Krišjānis Feldmans, Gatis Eglītis and Linda Ozola submitted an updated bill that aims at continuing the land-based gambling ban in Latvia. Their bill however was rejected.
The deputies’ bill quickly caught the eye of the Latvian Gaming Association (LGA). According to them, proper actions were taken by the retail gambling prior to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. LGA also pointed out that land-based also took measures toward problem gambling.
“Even before the ban on gambling, industry operators implemented both the virus prevention measures set out in the recommendations of the authorities and measures promoting safe and responsible gambling,” LGA said.
You are invited to register for the 3rd edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit which takes place on the 6th of August in Tallinn, Estonia, a conference that will feature several discussions about the industry Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Denmark, and Sweden. Register here!