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The Latvian Parliament (Saeima) has approved at the first reading a bill to ban alimony debtors from gambling, and scheduled a second reading for January 20.

The bill would require operators to ensure that those who owe maintenance payments are not permitted to gamble either in person or online. In order to do so, they must check accounts against the national register of maintenance debtors, with the help of the Lotteries and Gambling Inspectorate, which will create an official data display for licensees.

“The restriction is intended to prevent debtors who do not provide maintenance they owe for a child from using funds unreasonably for entertainment and hobbies,” the Saeima said.

The bill was submitted by the government and has already received approval from the Commission for Human Rights and Public Affairs with no objections. If it passes in the second and third reading and is signed into law, the restriction will come into effect on April 1.