The government in Latvia has approved changes to its gambling tax structure, effective from January 1st 2020. However, online operators and affiliates won’t be affected by these changes.
Some changes were expected, but others differed a little
As part of these shifts, slot machine operation costs will rise from a flat fee of €4,164 (£3,566) to €5,172 (£4,426). Annual fees for roulette and table game operators will also go up. Rather then the €23,400 they have paid up until now, the new price will be €28,080.
Allocations within the national budget will also change, but at a different rate than what was originally proposed. Rather than the planned 90% going to the state, that figure will instead be 95%. The rest will be split between the regions where these taxes came from.
The initial proposal mentioned no changes to iGaming – something which stayed the same in the approved version.
Latvia: a growing gambling market
In the first half of 2019, Latvia’s regulated gambling market grew 14% year-on-year. €154.5m was made in total revenue, compared to €134.6m in H1 2018. On top of this, the growth was reported across all verticals.
A safer approach
Earlier this week, the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection (IAUI) – which oversees gambling regulation in Latvia – warned customers about online risks. These related to fake lotteries and fraud. As part of this, the authority emphasised the importance in conducting extensive operator research before wagering.
According to the IAUI, consumers an look for various red flags to separate websites are real and those that aren’t. This is an area that Latvian affiliates, especially comparison sites, can provide assistance in.
Earlier this year, the regulator also launched state-funded initiative to give assistance to those affected by gambling problems. It has since shared that 127 people have sought treatment from this scheme so far. It was launched to give players, their families and their friends free psychological support if needed.