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Latvian Parliament Rejects Amendments to the Law on Gambling and Lotteries

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Latvian Parliament Rejects Amendments to the Law on Gambling and Lotteries
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The Latvian parliament has decided to reject amendments to the Law on Gambling and Lotteries. The proposed amendments would have been used to limit gambling in the country.

These amendments were developed by members of the New Conservative Party and KPV LV. Saeima deputy Juris Jurašs urged other members of the parliament to support this legislative draft, commenting that about 80,000 people in Latvia suffer from gambling addiction and for 15,000 of them this problem is severe.

He believes the proposed amendments would become a small step towards forming a healthier society.

“Gambling halls in Latvia are a lasting disease that certain people rich, it needs to be treated,” he said.

Jurašs stressed in particular that the gambling situation is critical. After the parliament had rejected the legislative draft Saeima deputy Krišjānis Feldmans from New Conservative Party wrote on his Twitter profile that Attīstībai/Par! political party is a plague for Latvian politics, commenting how the party voted against limiting gambling.

35 Saeima deputies voted in favour of passing the draft to the Budget and Finance Committee, 15 voted against and 27 deputies abstained. And so the legislative draft was rejected somehow.

The annotation mentions that the purpose of the proposed amendments is limiting the number of gambling locations in Latvia and reducing the negative effect gambling has on public health and people in general.

The legislative draft explains that people who participate in gambling and lotteries are subjected to an excessive addiction risk. Gambling addiction or a pathological need to engage in gambling is characterised with frequent gambling episodes, which quickly become the person’s main point of interest, impacting his or her social, professional, and family values, as well as negatively impacting his or her finances.

According to the study performed by SKDS in 2016, 26% of respondents who engaged in gambling in the past 12 months admitted having situations when gambling took over so much of their life that the outside world ceased to exist to them for some time.

The legislative draft also proposed making it so that casinos would be permitted only in four or five-star hotels in Latvia.

The annotation mentions that studies show that localization or limitation of gambling halls and casinos is one of the ways to limit and reduce problematic gambling habits.

It was also planned to impose a limit on open hours of gambling halls.

Deputies also proposed prohibiting alimony avoiders from engaging in gambling. The Maintenance Guarantee Fund Law already provides multiple restrictions for debtors to motivate them to fulfil their duties – pay alimony and provide their children with finances.

Baltics

Games Factory Talents has teamed up with Nordic Game to bring you Nordic Game Talents.

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Looking to take your career to the next level in the games industry? Then, Nordic Game Talents is the place to be! Games Factory Talents has teamed up with Nordic Game to bring you Nordic Game Talents.

From Oct 27-29, the online and interactive event is dedicated to recruitment and career building in the creative & games industry within the Nordic region. The event empowers participants to be part of a bigger community and motivates them to explore new paths in achieving their career goals.

Hiring creative & games studios – Supercell, Funcom, Panzerdog, Tactile Games, Gamecan, Fingersoft, Dazzle Rocks, Redhill Games to name a few from the Nordic region will be participating in the event. These studios will share information on their latest projects, work culture and what it takes to be part of their team. The individual games associations from Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Estonia will share insights through live sessions on the booming games industry in their respective countries. Career development topics pertinent to job seekers like – How to have a successful first interview, Creative Portfolio reviews will also be discussed.

Experienced game industry professionals and individuals beginning their careers from around the world are welcome to join the event. One-to-one interviews with the hiring studios can be scheduled through the event platform. A great opportunity to get to know the studios and network with game professionals from around the world.

Participating in the event

As a job seeker attending Nordic Game Talents, take a few minutes to fill out a simple registration form. After filling the registration form you will receive a link to the online event platform – PINE, to join the event on 27th October. Participants joining Nordic Game Talents will also receive a free-of-charge pass to the Nordic Game Conference.

To view the complete agenda, please click here and to learn more about the event please visit Games Job Fair

About Games Factory Talents

A Helsinki-based talent attraction agency dedicated to the games & creative industry. Our services include direct recruitment, organizing game job fairs and managing a community of game industry professionals through our GameDev Talent Board.

To learn more about Games Factory Talents visit – Games Factory Talents

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Baltics

Lithuania Approves Creation of Online-only Gaming Licences

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The Seimas, Lithuania’s legislature, has approved the first reading of amendments that would allow online-only gaming licences in the country.

At the moment, only operators that have a licence to offer land-based gaming can hold a remote gambling permit in Lithuania. Online-only operators must partner with land-based licensees to be able to offer gaming in the country. The new amendments to legislation would introduce a specific online licence that wouldn’t require a partnership.

Operators who wish to apply for a licence would need to hold at least €1.2m in capital in the case of casino gaming, or €289,000 and €144,000 in the case of online sports betting and online horse racing betting respectively.

Meanwhile, a new fee would apply to all kinds of gambling licences. Licensees must pay a fee of €1m on receipt of their licence and an additional payment depending on the type of licence. That payment would be €300,000 for slots, €100,000 for bingo and €500,000 for remote gambling.

The amendments would also require the construction of new slot halls, bingo halls and betting shops to be approved by municipal councils.

The first reading of the amendments was approved with 74 votes in favour, seven against and 39 abstentions. A second reading is still needed before the proposals become law.

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Baltics

Lithuanian Gaming Regulator Imposes Fine of €10,814 on Unigames

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The Lithuanian Gambling Supervisory Authority has issued a €10,814 fine to operator Unigames for organising gambling “outside the gambling regulation”.

An inspection carried out by the regulator found that the combined betting function used by Unigames’ via a BetBuilder feature were outside of the requirements specified in the company’s rules.

The regulator determined that this product, which allows players to create their own multiple bets on single sporting events, was not permitted in the country.

A ban on various forms of gambling promotion – such as bonuses – was recently implemented in Lithuania in July.

A statement from the regulator said: “The company has been warned about the possible violation of the license… and is obliged to eliminate the violation within the set term.

“This is the second decision after the Gambling Act gave the Gambling Supervisory Authority the right to impose economic sanctions on gambling organizers.”

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