Latvia focuses on gambling ads in emails

Service providers in Latvia may penalise gambling companies that publicise their ads on emails.

Latvia.- Email users in Latvia received invitations to join a virtual casino, even though current regulations establish that this is an offence. The gambling regulator from Latvia has reiterated that only Lavijas Loto can advertise its lottery services.

Signe Birne, head of the Lotteries and Gambling Supervision Inspection, explained that gambling companies are not allowed to advertise in Latvia. The only exception is Latvijas Loto, which is not subject to the gambling ban because lottery is not considered gambling.

“It is clear here that this offer is made by a merchant who definitely receives a share of the gambling companies, and in this way the electronic communications merchant permits his client database to use various advertisements,” stated Birne. “Both the host of this email site and the owner of the gaming site have committed an offence in promoting gambling.”

The Lotteries and Gambling Supervision Inspectorate promised to contact maintainers, asking them to evaluate their business partners who have given access to their customer. database. Both the gambling advertiser and the operator of the website on which the ad is displayed may be penalised.

Parliament approved gambling amendments

Last month, Saeima, the parliament from Latvia, approved amendments in the final reading of the Law on Lotteries and Gambling Fee and Tax. The percentage of tax revenue from gambling that the state perceives has increased from 75% to 95%.

The majority of the parliament members were against a proposal to refuse changing the percentage that the state and municipal budgets obtain. The amendments were designed to increase tax revenue for the state and help cover budget gaps.

Before the amendments, the state budget received 75% from gambling tax revenue, while 25% went to municipalities’ budget. During the first reading, parliament members suggested to increase the state’s percentage to 90%, but the coalition agreed on 95%.

Other amendments, which will come into force with the gambling law in 2020, establish that gambling tax rate for roulette, cards and dice games will rise from €23.4k to €28k a year.  Tax for gambling machines will increase from €4.1k to €5.1k.

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