Latvian governent looks to tighten controls on online gambling
Online gambling is alive and well in the Eastern European country. It’s a business that’s both legal and thriving in the current marketplace. In fact, business for online operators is up nearly 15 percent over last year’s numbers.
So everything in Latvia is ok, right? Wrong.
The Latvian the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of Latvia (IAUI) and Ministry of Health are both looking at ways to curb online and land-based gambling in the country and they’re looking to amend current regulations to help achieve that goal. According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, these agencies are considering a variety of measures ranging from smoking bans in land-based casinos to allowing regulators more access to gambling operators’ data streams and internal information.
Some efforts by the IAUI to curb problem gambling are pretty standard. For example, the agency has blocked the domains of more than 1,000 gambling sites that are not licensed to serve Latvian citizens. Other techniques are a bit more unorthodox, such as a measure that would allow government agencies full access to operators’ internal data. This would apply to both on-site and remote servers – a situation that’s virtually unheard of in other parts of the country.
On the land-based side, the government is looking to ban smoking in casinos (which isn’t so unusual) but it’a also looking to bar the practice of providing free drinks to gamblers. Regulators are also considering a measure that would bar casinos from serving food at gambling tables.
The Latvian government’s interest in re-regulating the gambling business was spurred by a government-sponsored survey that revealed huge support for the measures and an uptick in problem gambling across the country.