Gambling in Latvia is one of business areas, showing a steady growth. According to the results of 2016, the industry is ready to enter a pre-crisis level; however, changed government policy towards the gambling sector challenges not only its development but also its existence within legal environment. Market analysts are trying to find out whether the gambling business provides Latvia with benefits or whether its development is indeed related with harmful consequences for the country.
Gambling in Latvia in figures
Here is a brief information on the gambling business in Latvia as of June 2017:
- 315 gambling halls;
- 8826 registered slot machines;
- 6 land-based casinos;
- 183 gambling tables.
The majority of venues are located in Riga.
Gambling business owners make significant investments in the industry. Over the past 5 years, investments have reached around €102 million and been used for safety control, real property purchase, acquisition of new games and slot machines and reconstruction of gambling halls.
2016 was an especially successful year for the Latvian gambling sector, completing with the turnover of €264 million (a little less than the pre-crisis record: €264 million in 2007). €29.1 million of that sum went to the state treasury and €7.9 million to local self-governments.
Latvia was attractive for gambling organizations until 2017 due to the fixed tax rate and absence of double taxation. But now, the government is starting a tax overhaul, supposing the increase of gambling taxation. In 2017, one also adopted a prohibition on locating gambling halls in the historic city center, save for territories of major hotels.
The Ministry of Finance has the following plans:
- income tax on lottery winnings;
- 20% dividend tax;
- increase of gambling business taxation up to 30%.
If the amendments are approved, they will be accepted this fall. Industry experts believes that it will lead to the decrease of the amount of gambling halls, reduction of staff and cutting of wages. According to some forecasts, the legal industry will be destroyed and this sector will become shadow. Meantime, research shows that the gambling development not only has a disastrous influence on the economy and social aspect but also provides significant benefits.
Who visit’s gambling halls?
In 2016, SKDS surveyed gambling lovers in order to assemble a psychological profile on a common player and find out how much Latvian citizens are affected by problem gambling.
The survey has revealed the following facts:
- More than two-thirds of Latvian citizens aged 18-74 years have never gambled.
- Primarily, casinos and slot machine halls are attended by working men aged 25-34 years.
- A majority of gamblers aim to go out, in other words to have a time out of home among like-minded people.
- A share of Latvian playing in online casinos increased by 11% in five years.
- Two-thirds of gamblers spend up to €10 per month.
- One-fifth of respondents win around €10 per month.
- Another 13% of players win from €11 to €50.
- Only 11% of respondents believe that they are addicted to gambling. Besides, more than 30% of them say that they are affected by serials and social media, while 46% admit their computer dependency.
These data proves that the problem gambling issue in Latvia is not quite critical. On the contrary, a majority of citizens refer casino visits to a part of their social life.
Gambling industry benefits
Not only does legal gambling play an entertainment role, but it also brings a huge sum to the budget in terms of tax liabilities.
Adopting laws on gambling restrictions, authorities were going to compensate expected state treasury losses by increasing the excise tax on fuel, cigarettes and spirits. However, €29.1 million (and €7.9 million for municipal governments) is quite a significant sum for the country with the budget of €8.066 billion for 2018.
This gambling situation is still disputable. The Latvian Association of Gaming Business (noncommercial association) and government are engaged in a tough talk. Thus, the main topic of Riga Gaming Congress international conference is gambling business prospects in Latvia. Is there a future for Latvian gambling? Experts from various countries and industries will answer this question.…
Pragmatic Play Grows in Paraguay and Brazil with Giro Win
Pragmatic Play, a leading content supplier to the iGaming industry, is achieving further expansion in Paraguay and Brazil after signing a multi-vertical deal with Giro Win.
The deal encompasses the supplier’s Slots, Live Casino and Virtual Sports products, bringing its portfolio to an even greater LatAm audience.
Pragmatic Play’s Slots portfolio has seen numerous player-favourite additions in recent weeks that will soon be available for Giro Win’s costumers, including new titles in the iconic Big Bass franchise as well as the renowned John Hunter series. The agreement also includes award-winning staples such as Sugar Rush and Gates of Olympus.
The supplier’s Live Casino content stretches from casino classics such as roulette and blackjack to captivating live game shows such as Sweet Bonanza CandyLand and Snakes & Ladders Live that are also part of the agreement.
Also included is Pragmatic Play’s Virtual Sports, powered by a real-time physics engine and providing life-like renditions of popular sports such as Formula 1, greyhound racing and horse racing, on-demand to sports bettors.
As it further expands across LatAm, Pragmatic Play continues its commercial trajectory and ambitions of delivering fresh content to even more players than ever before.
Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “With LatAm remaining a source of commercial growth for Pragmatic Play, its latest partnership with Giro Win underpins its ongoing commitment to bringing a dynamic entertainment offering to more consumers in the region.
“Giro Win is an esteemed operator in the Latin American market and Pragmatic Play is proud of this new partnership that will see its Slots, Live Casino and Virtual Sports soon integrated to its platform.”
Hélio Cuevas, Director of Giro Win, said: “Pragmatic Play’s portfolio boasts some of the best games in the industry and it will be a welcome addition to our offering. We have no doubt the response to the large quantity of Slots, Live Casino and Virtual Sports titles that Pragmatic Play offers will match the overwhelming reception they have already experienced worldwide.
“Giro Win and Pragmatic Play share a vision of powering up new possibilities for players and delivering an unmatched experience and we are delighted to now count them as a partner.”
Pragmatic Play to Have Significant Presence at SBC Summit Latinoamérica
Pragmatic Play, a leading content supplier to the iGaming industry, is set to be in attendance at the upcoming SBC Summit Latinoamérica.
Exhibiting at stands G40 and H40, Pragmatic Play’s leading portfolio of multi-product content will be on display to cement its standing as the leading supplier to the Latin American market.
Pragmatic Play will be a Gold Headline Sponsor of the event, where the team will join attendees at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Miami from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November.
The conference forms part of its LatAm Mission Itinerary, a campaign to inform delegates across leading industry events how Pragmatic Play can twist, transform, and elevate gaming experiences. Marking Mission #12, the provider’s attendance will be figure-headed by its Spaceman, the main character from its market-leading crash game title.
The Pragmatic Play team will be on hand at its stands to greet both current and potential clients and detail the advancements it has made in the realms of Slots, Live Casino, Virtual Sports, and Bingo.
Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “Pragmatic Play is thrilled to announce its attendance at the upcoming SBC Summit Latinoamérica and looks forward to welcoming attendees and gaining a deeper understanding of the lively Latin American market.
As Mission #12 in Pragmatic Play’s LatAm itinerary, it has a lot in store for the conference and will reaffirm its commitment to providing new dynamic experiences that allow its partners to excel.”
Pragmatic Play Partners with Starkbet
Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, is celebrating the signing of a new partnership with Starkbet, enhancing its standing across Latin America.
Like many partnerships in the region, this latest tie-up with Starkbet includes three of Pragmatic Play’s popular verticals. Its Slot provision will see players able to enjoy recent releases including Rocket Blast Megaways and Diamond Cascade, as well as a host of award-winning popular hits like Sugar Rush and Gates of Olympus among 300+ quality titles.
The operator’s Live Casino offering will be significantly stronger once the deal goes live, with consistent top-performing titles such as Sweet Bonanza CandyLand and Mega Wheel being available for players along with a comprehensive collection of classic games such as roulette and blackjack.
Pragmatic Play’s Virtual Sports titles which offer a wide range of realistic games to complement real-life sporting schedules also form part of the new deal. Products like Force 1 and Horse and Greyhound Racing are among the sports soon to be available, giving bettors on-demand opportunities to enjoy a large selection of bet markets.
Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome the Starkbet team on board as Pragmatic Play’s latest partner in Latin America. It’s another fantastically strong brand that we’re delighted to see Pragmatic Play bringing its content to and we’re sure the relationship is going to work out incredibly well for both parties.”
Henry Berger, CEO at Starkbet, said: “Starkbet has always been a popular choice for LatAm players and that will be even more true now we will have content from Pragmatic Play in our portfolio. Its games are among the most requested among our players and we’re going to able to offer them so much more as a result of this agreement.”
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