Online gambling is one of the profitable sectors worldwide, and it continues to grow thanks to high internet penetration rates and the increased usage of mobile devices. Furthermore, it is projected that the market will reach a worth of $92.9 billion by 2023.
In Latvia, there is a huge rise in the popularity of online casinos and sports betting, especially since Latvia gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Actually, legalization along with the accessibility of reputable betting and casino sites are major factors that further fueled the growth of this market in Latvia. This article covers everything you need to know about the casino and sportsbook regulations in Latvia.
When it comes to the gambling legislation in Latvia, you’ll be glad to know that is gambling has been legal in Latvia since 1998. In fact, before the first legislation in 1994, there was significant growth in this sector, albeit unorganized due to the lack of regulation.
Moreover, playing online casino games is also legal since 2006 as long as the operator is licensed in Latvia. Online casinos also need to apply for a license, and they need to pass a strict procedure to operate as a fully licensed casino site. So, in other words, you can register and play your favorite slot games on a reliable, licensed casino site like LV BET slots, for example.
The governmental body that regulates land-based and online casinos is the Lotteries and Gambling Supervision Inspection. It is also responsible for issuing licenses for gambling establishments and oversees all forms of gambling and lotteries.
When it comes to sweepstakes and sports betting, it is legal, and on top of the land-based bookmakers in Latvia, there are plenty of licensed betting sites. Hence, you can bet on football, hockey, tennis, basketball, and other sports. This means that sportsbooks need to apply for a license, and betting on unlicensed betting sites is illegal, and the government shuts down establishments without an appropriate license.
Obtaining a License
Eligible for a gambling license is a capital company registered in the Republic of Latvia. Regarding the stake of foreign shareholders, it should not exceed 49%. This requirement doesn’t apply to investors of EEA countries and members of the European Union. It should be noted that a license is only valid for a year; afterward, it needs to be extended by paying a fee.
In terms of the taxes in Latvia, they are below average compared to other European countries. More specifically, for games like roulette, the annual rate is €17,279.36, and for card games and dice games, it is also €17,279.36. Next, taxes for sweepstakes and betting account for 15% of the revenue from the operator. If the operator offers gambling by telecommunication services, it pays 10% on a monthly basis from its income.
In conclusion, Latvian residents that are over 18 are allowed to play casino games on online casinos, betting sites, or in brick-mortar gambling establishments. They need to be aware that it is only legal to wager in businesses with a Latvian operating license from the Lotteries and Gambling Supervision Inspection. Otherwise, they are free to choose from a plethora of trustworthy online betting sites and casinos with a gambling license.
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Source: Gambling Legislation in Latvia – How LV BET and Other Operators Are Regulated