Latvian Licensed Casinos

All online Casinos with an Latvian Gambling License

Introduction to Latvia Licensed Casinos

Latvian Licensed Casinos

The gambling industry is one of the most profitable fields. So, you will get to see rapid income multiplication and business development.

Like any other industry with economic activity, it is crucial to provide the investors and clients with a guarantee and ensure the legalization of the gambling establishment, simply by securing certificates and licenses.

Gambling is prohibited in places, such as Kazakhstan, China, Russia, and other former Soviet Unions. However, Latvia offers certificates of gambling activities to non-residents, as well as citizens.

In this country, there is an absence of double taxation and low cost to consider and apply in offshore zones. In this article, you will get to know more about the gambling laws and regulations in Latvia. So, let’s proceed.

History of Gambling in Latvia

It was in 1991 when Latvia secured complete independence. Before this, gambling wasn’t a popular activity in the region. The Soviet Union had been a part of the Republic of Latvia at the time and it did not allow a majority of the games.

That is the reason the first Latvian casino opened only in 1991. However, some casino venues were operating in a grey area since the gambling laws in the country remained unregulated until 1998.

The government pressured the casino operators, which led to the closure of several gambling establishments in Latvia.

But in 2022, gambling will be legal in Latvia. It has been regulated for over twenty-three years. In 1998, the Latvian government established a Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection, a gambling authority, and adopted the Gambling and Lotteries law.

Hence, since 2006, many online lotteries and games of chance have been regulated. Until 2020, the year of the pandemic, the gambling market of Latvia had been flourishing.

Many lockdowns and other restrictions were affecting land-based gambling activities. This led to a reduced GGR and withdrawal of one of the casinos and 2 licenses for betting.

To prevent a rise in the problem of gambling behavior, the government of Latvia banned remote games from chance in 2021 from April to June. These days, terrestrial casinos, bingo, slot halls, and betting shops are operating with some restrictions but online casinos are back to normal.

Laws and Licences of the Latvia Gaming Authority

Gambling and Lotteries Law are the main regulatory documents in the game of chance field in Latvia.

The authority, Lotteries, and Gambling Supervisory Inspection oversee all gambling activities taking place in the country. Several private companies can organize lotteries or games of chance after they secure a license from the authority.

There are many requirements for applicants for a gambling license in Latvia. Let’s take a quick look at them,

  1. The Operator has to be registered in Latvia and needs to have a paid-up share capital of a minimum of €1.4 million.
  2. At least 51% of the residents of Latvia should be among the stakeholders of the gambling company. However, the rule does not apply to the investors of the European Economic Area countries, the European Union, and members of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development. Moreover, it can be waived in times of agreement with the Lithuanian Parliament.

If the company fulfills the criteria, The Supervisory Inspection will issue the gambling permit for an indefinite time. But you need to register with the gambling authority each year.

Latvia Lottery License 

A capital company that is incorporated with the Register of the Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia with at least €14.3K share capital can be given the local lottery license.

Associations, trade unions, and religious organizations can apply to the Inspection for one local lottery license. Licenses can organize lottery acts, musical performances, public events, or sports events.

Other than this, the primary regulations on gambling that exists in the country are,

  • In Latvia, the legal gambling age is 18 but there are a few casinos that limit the gambling age to 21+.
  • Identity and age verification is mandatory for people wanting to enter digital or land-based gambling establishments.
  • It is forbidden to gamble on credit.
  • Offshore gambling is taken to be illegal in the country and all casinos and sportsbooks in Latvia with a license should operate under the “.Iv” domain.
  • The gambling regulator of the country has banned over 1500 casinos since August.
  • In 2020, internet service and financial institutions started to send information about the players of offshore sites to the Latvian authorities. In case Latvians have gambled on any illegal website, they will have to pay a fine of up to €350.
  • In case any player avoids paying tax on the winnings of the casino, they will have to pay a fine of 23% on the prizes over €3000.
  • Gambling operators cannot organize games of chance in churches, residential buildings, credit, medical, educational institutions, or cultural establishments.
  • The country prohibits the advertisement of any game of chance outside gambling venues.

Types of Lotteries Included under the Latvian Gambling Law

The types of lotteries, which have been included under the Latvian gambling law, are as follows,

● Goods and Money Lottery

In this, participants who are going to take part in buying tickets are paying a participation fee in various ways, and the lottery operator provides goods, money, securities, etc. as a prize.

● Instant Lotteries

These are lotteries in which participants are going to find out what prizes they won as soon as they buy the lottery ticket.

● Numerical Lotteries

In numerical lotteries, the prize is received because of guessing the lucky symbols, numbers, characters, or a combination of characters, which are referred to as the rules of the lottery. The prize is going to be based on the sum and amount of the deposited bets.

● State Lottery

In Latvia, the monopoly to operate state lotteries is under the ownership of the state. In-state lotteries, the coupons or tickets are distributed in the Latvia territory, exclusively. The lottery prize is decided by conducting a public lottery.

● Single Local Lotteries

In this, the prize is decided by conducting a public lottery, which is operated at the time of the public event and where it is being conducted. Tickets are distributed at the time of the respective event and in the location where it is being organized. The total value of the lottery ticket won’t exceed €720. In one lottery, no prizes of money are going to be allowed.

● Local Lotteries

In this, the prizes are going to be decided by conducting a public lottery. Usually, they are operated in the territory of a certain parish, municipality, district, or city.

Who Is the Regulator of Gambling in Latvia?

Gambling in Latvia is regulated by the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Authority by The Cabinet and the stipulated processes along with State Revenue Service and the police.

The gambling authority implements the state policy in the gambling and lottery organization, performs supervision and licensing, and controls lottery and gambling organizers.

The gambling authority also drafts regulatory enactments related to the organization of lotteries and gambling markets, registers gambling machines, and registers the equipment.

It also offers the state the details related to the administration of lottery and gambling taxes. Thus, it ascertains the operation of unified gaming machine control with the help of online data exchange with gambling organizers and maintains a register of self-restricted persons.

Land-Based and Remote Gambling Laws

The legal system will distinguish between land-based and remote gambling. Remote gambling is interactive gambling and players should participate in it just with the help of electronic communication services to be known as interactive ones.

● Land-Based Gambling

Gambling might be organized just in casinos, bingo halls, gaming halls, and betting places, in case the relevant license of the gambling venue has been secured.

A gambling hall, casino, or bingo hall is the place to organize gambling, which is marked in the technical inventory plan to build a constructively separate room or many connected rooms. A land-based casino can organize roulette, slot machines, dice games, and card games.

It needs to have a minimum of 10 gaming tables in case the casino is located in Riga and if the casino is located outside Riga then just five gambling tables.

Casinos cannot install and operate roulette, a dice game, and a card game outside the casino. All gambling equipment located in the casino has to be owned by the capital company, which has received the license for the respective gambling venue.

A gaming machine has to be installed and operated in gambling halls and casinos. They need to be operated when they are interconnected in one network of gaming machine control and monitoring systems, making sure of online data exchange with the Authority.

The betting shop premises are the gambling premises, which are marked in the technical inventory of the building as the part or space where bets are being placed.

● Remote Gambling

Any online gambling operator can lawfully offer its services to a customer in Latvia but only when it has a valid gambling license. There are two kinds of gambling licenses that are available to the operator.

  • A fully operating gambling license enables the operator to offer its service both online and offline.
  • An interactive gambling license that will enable an operator to offer its services offline only.

The gambling organization through electronic communication service will be deemed to be the organization of a game of chance in which the participants will perform all activities that are required for participation in the games through digital communication services.

Organizations can organize roulette, slot machine games, dice games, card games, betting, wagering, bingo, and game of chance through phones using electronic communication services. It is permitted to accept bets on betting through electronic communication services.

But the total wins from the card or dice games or roulette shouldn’t be less than 80 percent of the total bets placed.

Interactive gambling and betting are permitted only when the receipt of the respective gambling license has been issued by the authority. There needs to be a separate license for the specific organization of live dealer studios operating in Latvia.

What Is the Process of Licensing Application and Renewal in Latvia?

A gambling organization license is issued for a gambling organizer by the Authority when they meet the criteria discussed above. To get a gambling organization license, the capital company should submit an application to the Authority that will be accompanied by:

  • Details regarding the credit obligations of the capital company, the loan repayment terms, and the amount on the day of the application.
  • A copy of the financial statements of the last full quarter of the current year for the economic activity in the reporting period, in case the company handles commercial activities.
  • Details are substantiated by transaction documents about the origin of property or money invested in the share capital of the main company.
  • A statement that the council members and the capital company along with the auditor will comply with the law requirements.
  • The development plan of the capital company for the following year of operation shows all intended gambling types, distribution of expenses and income, the expected amount, the amount of use, and profit.

Reviewing the Application

The gambling authority will review the application and they have the right to ask for more information regarding the,

  • Members of the council or board of the capital company and the auditor decide if they are complying with the requirements offered in the Law.
  • The shareholders or the participants of the capital company consider their financial reputation and position.
  • The capital company’s credit liabilities.
  • Details are mentioned in the development plan for the following year of operation.
  • The origin of the property invested or funds in the capital company’s share capital.

The authority has to decide about issuing gambling services within 90 days of the application. In case additional documents or information is needed, the authority has to decide within 90 days of the receipt of added documents and information submission.

To get a license to organize interactive gambling, bingo, dice or card games, or betting, the gambling organizer has to apply to the Authority that will be accompanied.

The Rules for Gambling

  • A statement on the accounts or accounts they have with the credit institution with a registration form in Latvia that they will use in mutual settlements with the gamblers.
  • Details about the interactive gambling organization system, including the interactive gambling program that the organization will use.
  • The views of the certification authority about the results of the inspection of the interactive gambling organization. This includes the relevant interactive gambling organization’s compliance with security measures of the interactive gambling organization that prevents the influence of any person on the gambling result.
  • Details about the personal data protection measures.
  • Information about the place the gambling organization will place the game and the security measures that they will take to prevent the influence of anyone on the gambling outcome.
  • Information about anyone responsible for gambling, showing his/her first name and last name along with their identification code.

The authority then has to decide if they would like to sanction a license. They will have to make this decision within 30 days of application. In case they ask for additional documents or information, the authority will decide whether or not to grant the gambling premise a license within 30 days of receiving the application.

The gambling operator has to re-register their gambling hall, casino, or bingo hall license annually.

What Is the Taxation Regulation of Gambling in Latvia?

Gambling and lottery tax is paid by the capital company which has a special permit for organizing the lottery or the necessary license for gambling.

It is the gambling organizer who is going to pay a tax for the capital company, gaming equipment, and a gambling venue. The authorities charge a tax on the gambling venue for the following rates-

  • Dice game or card game for every table: €28080.
  • For every gaming table that is connected to the roulette rotating device €28080.
  • Every gaming machine at every gaming venue €5172.
  • 10% of the revenue from the game’s organization.
  • 15% revenue from the game’s organization.
  • When gambling is organized with the help of telecommunication, the gambling tax, irrespective of the game type, is 10% of the revenue from the game’s organization.

By the first day of every month, the gambling organizer needs to notify the gambling authorities and gaming table operating in the relevant month at every licensed gambling venue.

The gambling organizer might move the gaming table or gaming machine to some other venue within the calendar month without even changing the total gaming machines and game tables in every gambling venue.

The lottery and gambling wins are added to the taxable income of a person. But, the gambling and lottery win, if the amount of the wins at the time of the taxation year doesn’t exceed €3000 are not included in the annual taxable income and won’t be taxed.

Government Actions Taken Over Illegal Gambling Sites

The Latvian government doesn’t tolerate any illegal gambling activities. The government imposes some precautions and measures for protecting gamblers from illegal gambling activities.

In case any of the ISPs find the player trying to access various illegal gambling sites, they might report the incident to the government directly. Also, they can take the necessary action. It might appear to be a little harsh for such an issue but it’s for the best of Latvia’s gambling industry.

Legal Online Casinos Operating in Latvia

Many online casinos operate in the country under the Latvian license. Let’s take a quick look at them. 

  • OptiBet LV
  • OlyBet
  • Laimz
  • Synottip
  • Betsafe LV

What Do Latvian Gamblers Prefer?

A recent survey of Latvian gamblers showed that most of the brick-and-mortar casinos and gambling hall visitors are working men between 25 and 34 years of age.

Simultaneously, 1/3 of the Latvians have never been a part of any gambling activities. Most gamblers go to slot halls or casinos for spending quality time with like-minded people. The average bet that every player plays is €10.

The share of online casino players in the country rose by 11% from 2011 to 2016. And in 2020-2201, it became more popular, primarily because of the closure of the brick-and-mortar venues.

The profit from online gambling in the first few months of 2021 was almost twice what was seen in 2020 as per Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection.

The 2021 revenue data also shows that the most popular games in an online casino are slots, cards, and roulette. It generates a revenue of up to €62.1 million.

Poker tournaments are played the least when it comes to online gambling. In the brick-and-mortar casino, slot machines appear to be taking the lead. It generates a revenue of more than €13 million.

Future of Online Gambling in Latvia

In more than 15 years that online gambling in Latvia has been legal; the local iGaming market has seen some consistent growth.

Irrespective of the two-month ban on gambling activities in 2021, the iGaming industry was able to double and even recover the 2020 level of online GGR.

But, the online casino market in the country is one of the smallest in the country. The online gambling revenue it collects in Estonia is much higher at times.

This is mainly due to strict licensing. In case the government offers foreign operations to all legal gambling businesses without even operating Latvia headquarters, the country has seen significant market growth.

Even though Latvia isn’t probably what an average gambler would take to be a hotspot, what’s interesting is that gambling is a considerable business in this small European country.

The business forced the Latvian government to implement gambling laws in 1991.

Latvian Licensed Casinos FAQ

Yes, gambling has been made legal in Latvia since 1991. Latvia gambling law permits slot machines, table games and online gambling. Poker, sports betting and lottery are also popular forms of gambling in the country. There are many casinos located in Latvia, with the largest being the Olympic Voodoo Casino in Riga.

The Latvian gambling regulator is the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Authority. This authority is responsible for ensuring that all gambling activities in the country are carried out in a fair and legal manner.

There are many types of gambling in Latvia, but the most popular ones are slots, bingo, lottery, dice and card games. These types of gambling are enjoyed by many people in Latvia, as they offer a chance to win money and prizes.