«HOW TO GET A GAMBLING LICENSE IN LATVIA
Latvia can boast of favorable environment for successful and pleasant gambling business thanks to beneficial tax system. If you want to start your prosperous gambling business in this country, you should get a special state license first.
At the moment, in 2017, Latvia has about 6 real casinos, 57 totes, 320 slot halls and 7 online casinos, having the necessary licenses. The biggest part of all the mentioned facilities are located in the capital of this blessed country, Riga.
The overall profit of Latvia’s gambling business has been growing for the recent two years, according to the statistics. For example, the total income of online casinos has risen by €13 million for that period.
the reality of the situation in Latvian gambling world is not that bright as it can seem. The reason is numerous pitfalls, hiding in the process of the license acquiring.
THE RECENT TWENTY YEARS
Long-long ago Latvia was a part of the Soviet Union, where any gambling was strictly prohibited. The only type of gambling allowed was the state lottery. The same situation was in all the countries, belonging to the USSR. Everything changed, when Latvia became an independent country. The first Latvian casino appeared after 1990. All the gambling activities have been obligatory licensed since the very beginning of the gambling history in Latvia. The problem with early licensing was connected with absence of any established procedure, because different licensing organizations had their own licensing procedures. Only in 1994 Latvia adopted strict legislation concerning lotteries and gambling business. The new rules described the algorithm of receiving the state license and tax payment.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Since then the global gambling business has been changing greatly together with changes of the corresponding legislation. Some rules and regulations, concerning casinos, were severely tightened.
Online operators, which had no licenses, were banned. The presence of foreign companies was strictly limited. Nowadays it’s not hard to get a state license for gambling business in Latvia, but if you want to take part in there, you definitely should know some interesting and important nuances.
THE PROCESS OF GETTING THE LICENSE
The same procedures of receiving the license concern casinos, gambling halls and bookmakers in Latvia. The whole process is divided onto 2 stages. The first one presupposes submitting a preliminary application to the special Supervision Inspection. This stage is not free. Actually, it’s quite expensive, because the corresponding fee is €427 000. But this amount is not the end of your expenses. You’ll have to pay for some additional permits.
In comparison with other option, the license is quite low, but the duration of the license is very short – only one year. When this period expires, you should repeat the whole procedure once again.
SOMETHING ABOUT RESTRICTIONS
Never forget, that gambling founder’s citizenship matters much for the regulatory authorities, who give licenses. The legislation presupposes, that at least 50 percent of the management of the company must be citizens of Latvia. What’s more, before the corresponding authorities give license to managers of online casinos, they always inspect their equipment. It can be connected with some additional expenses.
And there’s another innovation, which makes the process of obtaining the license more complicated. You can’t locate your land-based casino in Riga’s historic center, except for five-start hotels and four-star hotels. Some casino operators are quite dismissive of this innovation, because it may significantly reduce their revenue.
The Latvian government sees the gambling business in the country in a positive light, despite of several legislative limitations and nuances. We recommend you to watch your every step while obtaining the license.
Riga Gambling Conference will take place very soon, on the 12th of October. There different issues will be discussed, including various aspects of license obtaining.