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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

Olympic Casino Faces Another Fine in Lithuania

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The Lithuania Gambling Supervisory Authority has issued another fine to UAB Olympic Casino Group Baltija following a further breach of advertising laws in the country.

The Authority fined Olympic Casino €25,000 after it found the operator featured information on its website about how customers could watch live sports events on Setanta Sports, but also encouraged users to bet on sports.

The text in question set out how customers would watch live coverage of events such as the Spanish La Liga and Italian Serie A football leagues, as well as WTA tennis and Nascar motor-racing in the US.

While the promotion stated that coverage of events would be free, it also included text in relation to how customers could make deposits and withdrawals to and from their account on Olympic Casino. The advert included phrases such as “Be part of the game”.

Assessing the case, the Authority ruled the promotion was in breach of article 10, paragraph 19 of the Law on Gambling of the Republic of Lithuania, which relates to encouraging people to participate in gambling.

The Authority said the information about the possibility to watch events for free was not considered a gift, but information with which the operator sought to draw attention to its services, as well as to persuade and encourage people to participate in gambling.

However, the Authority also noted that the decision was not final and could be subject to an appeal by Olympic Casino.

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Game Wave Festival announces the full list of speakers and agenda!

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Game Wave Festival announces the full list of speakers and agenda!
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Less than two weeks left until the highly awaited gaming industry event in the Baltics – Game Wave Festival (GWF). The full agenda with the speakers has been released and everybody is invited to use promo code GWFRIEND to register for the event with a discount of 20%. GWF will take place on November 28-29, in Tallinn, Estonia at Tallink Spa & Conference Hotel. 

The two-day conference will provide an intersection of business, education and entertainment for anyone who is or wants to be involved in the gaming industry. Game Wave Festival will create an environment full of opportunities for networking and making close connections. The event will host 36+ speakers from different fields and backgrounds who are happy to connect and share their expertise within the gaming field. 

Game Wave Festival Speakers

Over the last 6 years, Julia Iljuk she has been helping game developers to find optimal solutions to their analytics problems. She is the host of an online course “Game analytics: From basic to advanced strategies” and webinars held on the devtodev education platform. Join her speech about Grow your Games with Data: How to Choose and Integrate Product Analytics.

Sercan (Sarge) Altundaş is a multi-disciplinary software engineer with a game and web development background. He is the developer of Ready Player Me, the leading cross-platform avatar system for the metaverse. He is currently SDK and Integrations Team Leader and has been helping the top technology companies integrate avatars into their applications. Sercan (Sarge) Altundaş will deliver an amazing talk on Taking Advantage of Machine Learning in Game Prototyping.

Elizaveta Petruchuk Seepia Playables is very active person. She holds several positions: CEO of Seepia Playables, FGJ Board Member, IGDA Volunteer, Art/Handcraft/Chess teacher or animator for kids, or just an ambitious unicorn. She will tell you her journey of From Outcast to CEO.

Mohammad Ali Sharpasand is a Data Scientist interested in the fields of Game Development, Bayesian Estimation, and People. He has a strong passion for helping others through their professional development. He will talk about Creating Games for Yourself or your Audience?

inesha Gandhi has more than 10 years of management experience in the gaming industry. She has worked on several AAA games. Making games is her passion and profession. She loves helping and solving problems of her team. Being part of the game dev. industry is a dream come true for her. She will share her knowledge on the Role of a Producer in Game Development.

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Baltics

Wazdan expands Latvia presence with FeniBet agreement

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Wazdan expands Latvia presence with FeniBet agreement
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Wazdan, the innovative games provider, has strengthened its foothold in Europe by securing a deal with the modern Latvian operator, FeniBet.

The agreement allows Wazdan’s innovative slot content to reach more players than ever before, providing FeniBet’s customers with access to its latest engagement-boosting features, such as Collect to Infinity™, Cash Infinity™, and Hold the Jackpot.

A selection of 10 popular titles, including Sizzling Eggs™, 9 Coins™, Magic Spins™, Sizzling 777 Deluxe, Sizzling Kingdom™: Bison, Hot Slot™: 777 Crown, Power of Gods™: Valhalla, 9 Lions, Telly Reels™, and Magic Fruits Deluxe, is already available to FeniBet’s customers thanks to the partnership, with more titles expected to follow soon.

FeniBet operates in Latvia as an online sportsbook and casino, offering a wide range of popular slots, Live Casino products, and secure sports betting markets to guarantee a memorable gaming experience for all of its customers.

The deal serves as further evidence of Wazdan’s commitment to Europe’s iGaming landscape as the supplier reinforces its presence in Latvia, following recent deals with the likes of Play North, Sesame, and Star Casino.

Andrzej Hyla, Chief Commercial Officer at Wazdan, said: “We’re thrilled to have established a partnership with FeniBet in a market as exciting and full of promise as Latvia.

“The deal allows us to maintain our impressive growth trajectory and continue expanding our global presence, while providing the operator with some of our most exhilarating slot products.”

Martins Opmanis, Head of IT Department in Alfor, said: “By delivering Wazdan’s renowned content to our players, we are able to provide them with some of the strongest gaming experiences on the market.

“Wazdan’s products are known for their engagement-boosting features and imaginative themes, and we expect the initial crop of games to go down well with our players.”

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