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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

Wazdan wins two awards at Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards

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Wazdan wins two awards at Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards
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Wazdan awarded the titles of the Best Slots Provider in the Baltics 2022 (B2B) and the Rising Star in Nordic Online Casino Technology 2002 (B2B)

Wazdan, the innovative games provider, has won two awards at the recent Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards (BSG Awards).

Wazdan was recognised in both the Best Slots Provider in the Baltics (B2B) and Rising Star in Nordic Online Casino Technology (B2B) categories, highlighting the impressive reach the provider boasts across both regions.

The award recognised outstanding achievements in the regions across 28 categories, with the final results decided by delegates of the Mare Balticum Gaming Summit.

Wazdan has enjoyed a positive start to 2022, releasing a number of thrilling new titles headlined by its new innovative slot, Magic Spins™, while also entering the recently regulated Ontario market.

Andrzej Hyla, Chief Commercial Officer at Wazdan, said: “We’re extremely proud to have won two awards at the recent BSG Awards. The Baltic and Nordic regions are important regulated markets for us in Europe. We’re always looking to bring excellent gaming experiences to players and it’s fantastic that we’ve been recognised for our products.

“It’s a testament to the hard work of the entire team. Congratulations to all winners!”

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Baltics

Lithuanian Regulator Imposes Fine of €6789 on 7bet

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The Lithuanian Gambling Supervisory Authority has issued 7bet operator Amber Gaming with a fine of €6789 for breaching the national laws brought in last year regarding the promotion of gambling.

An investigation from the Commission found that on 13 October and 4 November in 2021, and also on 4 February this year, Amber Gaming published content on its website that the regulator said encouraged consumers to gambling.

The Commission highlighted a number of statements that could be seen as promotional and content intended to draw players to gambling with the operator’s 7bet brand.

These statements included “Online casino: free spins and casino bonus” and “For those who want a greater sense of excitement, 7bet offers live real-time casino games. It gives you even more chances to win”.

Ruling on the case, the Commission said the published information was “aimed at drawing attention to the company, its offer, persuading and encouraging persons to participate in the company’s games”.

This, the regulator said, was considered to encourage participation in games and therefore breached Article 10 (19) of the country’s Ali.

It was established that the published information was aimed at drawing attention to the company, its offer, persuading and encouraging persons to participate in the company’s games, which is considered to encourage participation in games, therefore, the company violated the requirements of Article 10 (19).

Amber Gaming was also warned that similar breaches or failure to remove any promotional content could result in the operator having its licence in the country suspended.

The operator does have the option to appeal the decision.

Lithuania’s ban on gambling promotion came into effect on 1 July 2021, on the 20th anniversary of the Lithuanian Gambling Commission’s formation.

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Baltics

Industry-leading Sports Betting Brand William Hill Launched in Latvia

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The internationally well-renowned sports betting and online casino brand William Hill rolled out in Latvia. A quick market entry was made possible by rebranding the local sports betting brand 11.lv.

Acquired by the William Hill Group in 2019, 11.lv has operated under a local license in Latvia since 2012, growing to a top 3 player in the online sports betting and casino market in 2021.

The rebrand coincides with some significant sporting events in Latvia, including the 2022 IIHF World Championship this month and the Responsible Gaming Latvian Cup (Latvian FA) – which William Hill financially supports.

The company also intends to leverage existing media partnerships with bespoke creatives underpinned by the William Hill brand concept of Brotherhood, centred around the power sports and betting have to connect people in a responsible environment.

“I am very proud of the work done building 11.lv brand in the Latvian market, becoming one of the leading brands in the country. This makes us well-positioned to take this strategic step, and we look forward to introducing one of the strongest brands in the industry and proving to our Latvian customers that William Hill is who you play with,” Nir Hakarmeli, MD of William Hill International, said.

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