Latvian Parliament to introduce higher gambling taxes for land-based operators

The Latvian parliament has given the green light to make changes to its gambling tax structure, which will come into force from January 1 2020.

The new changes will primarily effect land-based operators, with online operators and affiliates due to be exempt from the ruling.

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.

The parliament also signed new plans to introduce more gambling taxes into the national budget. 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 news of the changes come as 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 a 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.

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