The Riga Gaming Congress Report Sheds Light on Latvia iGamingPublished August 30, 2017 by Brett C
A comprehensive report on gambling in Latvia has been commissioned by the Riga Gaming Congress. The results of this comprehensive study are presented below
Gambling in Latvia continues to show strong growth trends, despite the industry facing headwinds in 2016. Government policy has been increasingly accommodating of gambling in Latvia, and the pros and cons of this activity have been thoroughly evaluated.
Findings in the Latvia Gambling Report
There are some 183 gambling tables, 6 bricks and mortar casinos, 8,826 registered slot machines, and 315 gambling halls across Latvia (June 2017). From 2013 to 2017, investments in gambling-related enterprises have reached €102 million. This includes the physical acquisition of gambling facilities, machinery, equipment and refurbishment. Turnover in 2016 amounted to €264 million, of which 10% + was received by government authorities.
Gambling companies now face additional taxation, with the Ministry of Finance proposing a 20% dividend tax, tax on lottery winnings, and up to 30% in gambling business taxation. If approved, these could come into effect in the fall. The in-depth study finds that some two thirds of Latvians between 18 & 74 years old have never gambled, while most slot machine halls and casinos are frequented by men between the ages of 25 & 34. Online casino gaming has increased by 11% over the past 5 years, and some 67% of gamblers spend up to €10 per month, with just over 20% of them winning €10 + monthly.
Increased Tax Burden on Latvian Gambling Companies
The benefits received by the government are due to the tax liabilities imposed upon the gambling companies. The Latvian authorities are seeking to impose higher sin taxes (alcohol, cigarettes) as well as increasing the excise tax on fuel. The €29.1 million tax figure is significant, given that the country's budget is a €8.066 billion for 2018. In-depth deliberations between the LAGB (Latvian Association of Gaming Business) and the government continue.
Riga Gaming Congress in October 2017
The Riga Gaming Congress sponsored the study into Latvian gaming, and an international conference is slated for October 12, 2017 in Riga. Online Casino Reports is a media partner of this international innovation event for online gaming.