March 25, 2020

Latvian Gambling Operator Seeks Clarity on Suspension of Online licenses

Latvian Gambling Operator Seeks Clarity on Suspension of Online licenses

Latvia’s gambling regulator has requested for clarification on the status of online gambling after the government passed new emergency laws in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

On Sunday, March 22, Latvian President Egils Levis signed a bill outlining measures to avert and control national threats and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic that was passed by the parliament on March 20.

As stipulated in the law, all casinos, bingo halls, gambling halls, and betting locations in Latvia were ordered to shut down in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.

However, the status of online gambling remains unclear. The bill also calls for the prohibition of gambling and lotteries “except for interactive gambling, numerical lotteries and instant lotteries.”

The bill also says that the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Authority “shall suspend all gambling licenses for physical gambling venues…interactive media and/or via electronic communication services.”

Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Authority director of the legal department Janis Ungurs, said in an interview, that the Authority is waiting for legal clarification on two articles of the law which were evidently contradictory. But it is ready to suspend online licenses if the law demands it.

“Inspection orders regarding online licenses will be issued within the next few days, when we receive legal clarification from parliament’s legal office and Ministry of Justice about legal interpretation of these two chapters,” said Ungurs.

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