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Saeima committee instructs Finance Ministry to revise regula

edit:casino time:2019-02-27

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According to the Saeima committee's decision, the Finance Ministry, together with the Health Ministry and Justice Ministry, will have to revise the guidelines in two weeks. The committee made the decision after reviewing residents' initiative calling for a ban on gaming businesses that was signed by more than 10,000 residents on the manabalss.lv portal.

LETA

MP Juris Jurass (New Conservative Party) told the committee that public support for the New Conservative Party's initiative on the manabalss.lv public initiatives portal was due to the fact that gambling addiction was a pressing problem in society, and the state had not done enough to limit access to gambling halls.

Representatives from the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry agreed with the Finance Ministry, while the Association of Local and Regional Governments agreed that such "drastic" restrictions were not necessary, but local governments would like to have more opportunities to decide where gaming venues could open.

Published: 26.02.2019 16:35

The Finance Ministry's representative Jana Salmina said in turn that her ministry was aware of the problem, however, the solution offered by the initiative would not solve it.

Saeima committee instructs Finance Ministry to revise regulations on gambling and lotteries

RIGA, Feb 26 (LETA) - Saeima Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday told the Finance Ministry to revise the gaming and lottery policy guidelines for 2019-2026 in order to limit residents' access to gaming venues and improve regulations on the gaming and lottery industry.

Latvian Association of Gaming Businesses board member Andis Jacino said that about 3 percent to 5 percent of residents were addicted to gambling, but that did not meant that the entire industry must be shut down.

As reported, the petition proposes that gaming venues could only operate at five-star hotels.

Salmina said that, judging from past experience, an outright ban would prompt people ending up in a completely uncontrolled environment, which is what happened when alcohol beverages were banned. Furthermore, people will still be able to gamble on the Internet. Likewise, if gambling halls are only permitted in luxury hotels, this will prompt the development of unlicensed gaming venues in the regions. Furthermore, this would reduce gambling tax revenue significantly. Almost EUR 40 million is paid into the state budget in gambling tax annually, and the industry employs 4,000 people, said Salmina.

 

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