Online casinos accepting players from Latvia
Accommodated in Northern Europe, Latvia, also known as the Republic of Latvia, belongs to the Baltic countries. Latvia is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast. It also shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west.
Online gambling is legal in this country since 2003, but local players are prohibited from gambling with offshore unlicensed operators. The licensing process in the country is quite stringent, which explains the limited number of operators accepting players from this region.
An interesting detail to mention is that Latvia is home to both Playtech and Evolution live dealer studios. Playtech opened its studio in February 2017, describing it as the world’s largest next-generation live casino in Riga. Evolution’s studio started operating even earlier, in 2006.
Laws and Regulations
In 2003, legislation was passed to permit interactive gambling. Bodies in charge of governing this sector include the Ministry of Finance and Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection (LGSI). National Lottery is operated by SJSC Latvijas Lot.
An operator interested in providing gambling services needs to have its company registered in Latvia, with a minimum share capital of EUR 14,300. The following forms of interactive gambling are permitted: gaming machine games, roulettes (cylindrical games), card games, dice games, bingo, betting, wagers, and games of chance via the telephone.
When it comes to taxes, they differ depending on the type of gambling. All interactive gambling and land-based bingo are taxed at 10% of the gross win, while land-based betting is taxed at 15% of the gross win. Land-based gaming is also taxed 15% of the gross win, but there’s an additional annual fee for devices, charged as follows:
- EUR 3,141.70 for gaming machines
- EUR 17,279.36 for table games
In 2011, two relevant regulatory institutions came up with proposals to change the gambling legislation. The suggested changes included the license entry fee of LVL300k with an annual renewal fee of LVL25k, as well as a 5% tax on a gross win for licensed operators. The legislation was passed in 2013, but the suggestion for the tax was removed before enactment.
In October 2019, the parliament came up with a proposal for increased taxes for the land-based gambling sector. The proposal was accepted a month later, indicating the following taxes:
- The flat fee for slot machines in operation would be EUR 5k, instead of EUR 4k
- The annual fee for roulette and table games is increased to EUR 28k, instead of EUR 23k
On the other hand, the online gambling industry of Latvia wasn’t impacted by the new set of measures.
Top 8 Casinos for Latvia
Player Protection and Responsible Gambling Measures
Latvia belongs to countries where player protection is taken seriously. Although offshore operators are targeting the market, there are measures that aim to prevent them from accessing such platforms.
In July 2014, the local interactive gambling regulators met with regulators from France to discuss the potential areas of cooperation. Though the two countries have different regulatory frameworks, there are certain similarities in the approach both regions have regarding tackling illegal operators.
Speaking of, a month later, in August 2014, the government went live with the first list of blacklisted domains. In September of the same year, the list amounted to 144 brands, including tier-one operators. By February 2015, the list already encompassed 530 illegal operators, confirming that player protection is at the highest level possible.
What’s even more, LGSI has a self-exclusion register, which allows consumers to take a break from gambling for a minimum of 12 months. Starting January 1, 2020, a customer who wants to self-exclude may submit a request in person in writing to the Inspectorate, in-person in writing at the gaming venue, using the link displayed on the interactive gambling and interactive lottery organizers' websites.
Also, underage gambling is strictly prohibited, just like in other parts of the world. The minimum gambling age is 21.
Payment Methods and Banking
Since January 1, 2014, the official currency of Latvia is Euro, which replaced the Latvian Lats (LVL). So, players looking for online casinos that accept Latvian players should look for those which accept EUR.
When it comes to crypto gambling, the country has no regulatory framework for any cryptocurrencies. People are neither strictly prohibited nor officially permitted to use Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or any other cryptocurrencies for transactions.
With regard to banking, players should always take a closer look at:
- The available payment methods
- Minimum and the maximum amount to deposit and withdraw
- Processing timeframe for transactions
- Potential fees
Also, some operators require players to verify their identity when depositing or withdrawing for the first time. Each casino has its policies, so it is wise to get acquainted with the requirements on time.
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What Should Players from Latvia Pay Attention to When Selecting a Casino?
Baking methods and relevant policies aside, there are a couple more details players should take into account when choosing an online casino that accepts players from Latvia.
As you can see, locals are not permitted to make bets at foreign unlicensed casinos, so it is advised to stick with locally approved gambling websites. So, the first thing to pay attention to is the license. A huge plus is if a casino has accreditations from independent test labs.
Other than that, check the selection of games and providers. If games can be played in fun mode as well, excellent, as you will have an opportunity to feel the atmosphere before depositing.
Furthermore, see how many channels of communication with customer support there are. The more the merrier. Having in mind the high level of player protection in Latvia, it is expected that each operator should include some tools for responsible gambling. Those are deposit/loss/withdrawal limits, cool-off, and self-exclusion.
Only when all those segments are taken into account, a player can be sure that he/she has found something that fits their needs. It takes a couple of minutes to investigate those details, but mark our words- it pays off.
Always read the Terms and Conditions, and gamble responsibly!
1. Is it legal to gamble online in Latvia?
Yes, it is legal to gamble online in Latvia. The legislation which permits interactive gambling was passed in 2003.
2. Is demo play available in Latvian online casinos?
Demo play is an option that is available in most casinos. Some operators permit visitors to access this option, while others permit it to registered players only.
3. What kind of bonuses can Latvian players find in online casinos?
There are welcome bonuses, bonuses on second, third, or fourth deposits, cashback bonuses, free spins, and more. Before claiming any of these bonus offers, make sure to check the accompanying Terms for potential country restrictions.
4. Can Latvian players gamble on mobile devices?
Of course, Latvia-friendly online casinos are available both on desktops and mobile devices. In the vast majority of cases, no download is needed.
5. What are the most popular casino games in Latvia?
Just like in many other corners of the world, online slots lead the way in popularity. In addition to this, players’ favorites include Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack, and poker.
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