Latvia Gambling Revenues Up 9% in 2023

February 14, 2024 | Government


RIGA, Latvia (February 9, 2024) — In 2023, the Latvia gambling industry revenues reached 288,633 million euros, up 9% from 2022, when gambling venues were still closed in the first two months of the year as a result of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, according to the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspecorate’s data on February 6.

In the gambling sector last year, only 52.4% of revenues were generated by onsite gambling sites such as amusement arcades, casinos and sweepstakes, while 47.6% of revenues were generated by interactive gambling.

This outlines a significant trend in the sector, because in 2019, 80.4% of revenues in the Latvian gambling market came from onsite gambling.

“Over the past few years, this proportion has changed significantly, influenced by both political decisions and economic considerations, so there is no reason to believe that the impact of the volume of onsite gambling could return,” Signe Birne, chief of the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspectorate, said in a statement to the media.

According to the latest data, three casinos, 194 amusement arcades, one bingo amusement arcade and 76 betting venues operated in Latvia in December last year.

Of the total 194 gambling halls, 79 (40.7%) were in Rīga, 52 (26.8%) were in six largest cities, while 63 (32.5%) were in 31 Latvian municipalities, employing a total of 2722 people in the sector.

EUR 45.57 million was paid to the state in the form of special gambling and lottery tax, EUR 3.3 million was paid in the form of a fee (licence fee), EUR 1.415 million was paid to local government budgets in gambling tax payments. Other taxes calculated by merchants amounted to EUR 44 million in the State budget.

The battle with unlicensed interactive gambling sites in 2023 has resulted in blocking 317 illegal sites that related to domains created by 11 legal entities. A total of 3,375 domains have been blocked since 2014.

Since 2020, a total of 58,017 persons have used the register of self-withdrawn persons, and 31,692 persons have been subject to a ban on gambling and interactive lotteries.

Over the past year, the number of persons included in the Register of self-rejected persons had increased by 17,428, while the number of current bans by 5,942.

Similarly, since May 2021, persons who must pay alimonies and are included in the Register of the Maintenance Guarantee Fund may not participate in gambling and interactive lotteries. It is estimated that on average 10% of the persons on the fund register wanted to gamble but were denied access.

Gambling addicts and their loved ones have access to psychologist advice that can be obtained free of charge. In 2023, the inspectorate provided 849 face-to-face and 223 remote consultations, as well as 2,522 telephone consultations on various issues, and 203 consultations in electronic mail form.

SOURCE: (Latvian Public Broadcasting)