The organization was established on 1 January 1998. It consists of two departments: Legal and Control. Despite the long period of existence, the work of the organization has significant drawbacks, namely, not established work with complaints of players. Although in general, if we consider the vector of regulation of gambling in the country, the Inspection works perfectly. In 2019, there were significant changes in the direction of social responsibility, which shows that the organization is developing. Regarding licensing, it should be noted that there are two types of gambling licenses for operation in Latvia, covering the main areas of gambling.
Lotteries and gambling supervisory inspection of Latvia review
The first land-based casino, officially registered in Latvia, appeared in 1991. Since that moment, the gambling business in the country began to develop very rapidly. The lack of strict control on the part of the state allowed to create a large number of lotteries and gambling halls, which led to the discrediting of the gambling industry as a whole, so the organizers could not and did not try to provide a high level of services. In 1998, the lottery and gambling supervision Inspectorate of the Republic of Latvia was established.
Currently, the Latvian market is quite favorable for gambling, partly due to the high percentage of tax collection. On the territory of the country, there are offices of well-known companies, for example, Evolution has several large studios, from which live games are broadcasted. Recently EGT provider appeared on the market an signed the cooperation agreement with the leading operator in Latvia – 11.lv. In General the gambling market study of the country in 2019 showed strong growth in the first quarter by 35%.
The responsibilities of the organization include:
- Control and verification of gaming equipment, including slot machines and software for compliance with the minimum payout percentage established by the law on gambling.
- Guarantee that operators conduct legitimate activities
- Ensure control and supervision of gambling and lotteries, so that they are organized only in accordance with the requirements of the regulations of the Republic of Latvia
- Protect consumer interests and protect them from the harmful effects of gambling
The organization consists of two main departments: Control Department and Legal Department. Each of them is actually engaged in activities corresponding to its name, that is, Control controls, lawyers are engaged in the issuance of licenses and the development of additional laws.
The social responsibility of the organization is manifested in the restriction of citizens from gambling and the fight against gambling addiction. On the official website of the Inspectorate for supervision there is a large amount of information and links to additional sites where gambling addicts can ask for help. Also regularly from July 1, 2019, free consultation of the psychologist is carried out. A high level of responsibility to society appeared not so long ago, at the beginning of 2019, in connection with the appearance of a petition to ban gambling establishments in the territory of Latvia, signed by more than 10,000 citizens.
In 2020, it is planned to create a special register, where players can add themselves to the list of persons who independently restrict access to gambling services.
License types of Lotteries and gambling supervisory inspection of Latvia
- Azartspēles (gambling license) – is divided into two kinds, the provision of land-based services and the organization of gambling via the Internet or interactive methods.
- Loterijas (Lotteries) – a license is issued either for a commodity lottery (drawing for the purchase of goods) or a service lottery (purchase of tickets, etc.)
Licenses are issued for an unlimited period, with re-registration (renewal) every year.
Companies registered in the Republic or as a member of the European Union state can apply for a gambling license. The authorized capital of the company must be at least 1 400 000 Euros. The cost of a license to open a land-based and online casino, as well as the possibility of providing other gambling services is 427,000 Euros. If you plan to open only gambling on the Internet or access them through other switching services, the cost of the license will be 200 000 Euros.
Depending on the type of license obtained, the monthly tax rate varies from 10 to 20% and is paid from the income of the institution (the amount of bets minus the winnings paid to the players).
The following gambling activities are allowed on the territory of the state:
- slot machines;
- card game;
- phone games.
In addition to gambling licenses, the organization certifies gaming equipment (slot machines) and software. The procedure is carried out by independent laboratories accredited in the country or any state of the European Union. In this case, we are talking about land-based slot machines, gambling tables, and equipment used by operators providing access to live casino table games, for example, evolution gaming.
On the official website of the Lotteries and gambling supervisory inspection, there is no information on how to file a complaint against an online casino if it violates the rights of a player. But there is a feedback form located in the section "ierosinajumi sudzibas", with it you can a claim at the casino.
Regulator licensed casinos
Online casinos licensed in the Republic are available on the sites in the domain zone "lv". Among the known operators: Betsafe, Olybet, Optibet, 11.lv, and others. A complete list of operators licensed by the Gaming Commission of Latvia can be found on the official website of the organization under "licencetas kapitalsabiedribas".
The work of Lotteries and gambling supervisory inspection is basically aimed at creating favorable conditions for work in the gambling market of Latvia. Although, according to Casinoz, a lot of attention is paid to working with players, namely assisting them in resolving disputes with gambling establishments. Of course, the organization has recently begun to pay more attention to this aspect, but still, that's not enough.