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Exclusive interview with Mare Balticum Gaming Summit speaker, Valts Nerets(Senior Associate at Sorainen Latvia)

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My latest interviewee is a well known lawyer in Latvia and internationally. Valts Nerets is Senior Associate at Sorainen Latvia and has been practising law since 2008. Valts will be among the speakers at the inaugural edition of Mare Balticum Gaming Summit Riga, which is going to be held on the 8th of May at Astor Riga. You can find more details here

Thank you very much for being available for this interview. I read in your biography that you are senior associate and have been practicing law since 2008. As head of the Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences Sector Group in Latvia you specialized in dispute resolution, distribution and trade, transport and maritime, information technology and data protection, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, and telecommunications. You also have extensive experience in litigation and arbitration, administrative law and procedure, contract law and international investment law. Why did you also choose the gambling industry and what other information about you would you like to share with us?

Valts: My work in Sorainen started more than seven years ago and back then my knowledge in gambling laws was very limited. One of the very first assignments that allowed me to obtain an in-depth insight into gambling law peculiarities, was back in 2011 when the Ministry of Finance of Latvia planned enacting a new Lotteries and Gambling Law. The online gambling industry was furious about the proposed changes which were very inconsiderate and were aimed into imposing more and more restrictions on the industry without any proper reasoning. It took many hours of work, letters, opinions and meetings, to convince the Ministry of Finance that the wording was incompatible. And a new law was not enacted back then and has not been enacted yet. Also, for example, to a very large extent it is thanks to our efforts that for obtaining a Latvian gambling license the law now requires that the foreign capital in the company does not exceed 49% excluding investors not only from the EU, but also from the EEA and the OECD member states.

I maintain close contacts with the gambling industry, but my passion is dispute resolution and in particular investment arbitration. I hope that in the future we also manage to defend the gambling industry players in investment cases against the State.

Would you please tell us more about the projects you have worked on and about the difficulties and successes you have experienced during your career?

Valts: It is indeed true that every case is unique and sometimes the smallest assignments are those which require most attention. Apart from our successful work on the gambling law amendments, already just in the very first two months of 2018 I have completed work on two very important assignments related to government relations. First, we drafted amendments to the Law on State Funded Pensions which hopefully will make Latvia not to be the last EU member state having no mechanism for inheritance of the funded pension capital. Second, we assisted our client in drafting amendments to the regulations on ridesharing. Both are crucial for every individual and I believe we have contributed to make life better for every citizen in Latvia.

What is your personal opinion about the gambling industry in general in Europe or in the countries you know better?

Valts: In many European countries the situation with gambling is similar: it is not considered as an industry beneficial for citizen well-being. The legislators are very indolent in liberalising the gambling laws. Advertising opportunities are almost limited to zero and taxes are constantly increasing. It is of course true that the increasing AML risks must be duly handled, but at the same time the feeling is that the legislators impose restrictions without carefully evaluating the risks and without taking into account the industry’s opinion.

Please tell us more about the Latvian gambling industry, the challenges of this market, the Latvian laws and regulations and their acceptance by the public.

Valts: With about 2 million population the Latvian market is very small and is seen as cost ineffective to most gambling organisers who must obtain a Latvian licence to operate there. There are only less than 10 casinos operating in Latvia, about 350 gambling halls with roughly 9000 slot machines and 100 roulette and card tables run by 13 licensed gambling operators. There are seven online gambling operators in Latvia, and it is expected that this number will increase. During the last few years the supervisory authority has put a significant effort in combating operation of unlicensed gambling operators in Latvia by blocking access to their websites, albeit not fully efficiently.

We know that gambling in Latvia is completely legal and has been regulated by the government since 1988. Online gambling is also legal if the operator is licensed in Latvia. What important issues can you relate regarding gambling and online gambling in Latvia?

Valts: To operate online gambling in Latvia, the gambling organiser must obtain a Latvian licence. The requirements for obtaining the licence are the same as for land-based gambling. The most significant requirement is establishing a capital company in Latvia with a paid-up share capital of not less than EUR 1,4 million. Since 2016 the requirement to locate the equipment in Latvia that is used for operating the gambling has been abolished and is replaced with granting the State authority access to such equipment. The competition in online gambling in Latvia is increasing, as more and more gambling operators are considering obtaining a licence due to the blocking of unlicensed operators’ websites.

 

Tell us please about your future plans, projects regarding your professional life.

Valts: In today’s business providing legal advice requires industry-specific know-how and keeping yourself up-to-date on the latest sector developments. That is the only way how to provide an exact solution to the client. Thus the professional challenge is keeping myself updated on the industries where my clients operate, including gambling. IT solutions and digital platforms like Avokaado, which Sorainen recently has started to use for contract automation, offer incredible opportunities also for lawyers. Law firms must be IT-focused and increase their efficiency to meet the needs of their clients. This is even more true in such relatively small markets as Latvia.

To meet Valts in person, make sure you register for Mare Balticum Gaming Summit and gain access into compliance related content about the Baltics and Scandinavian region.

Interviewee profile:

Valts Nerets, a senior associate has been practising law since 2008.

He is head of the Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences Sector Group in Latvia. Valts specialises in dispute resolution, distribution and trade, transport and maritime, information technology and data protection, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, and telecommunications. In particular, he has extensive experience in litigation and arbitration, administrative law and procedure, contract law and international investment law. Valts has further developed his knowledge by participating in summer schools and additional courses in such fields as maritime law and mediation. Before joining Sorainen, Valts specialised in telecommunications and dispute resolution, through his work as a senior in-house lawyer for the leading satellite and telecommunications equipment wholesaler in the Baltics.

Additionally, Valts has vast experience in lecturing, and today he maintains successful cooperation with several universities. He is a lecturer at the Riga Graduate School of Law for courses in Private international law and international civil procedure, International sales law and Comparative constitutional and administrative law, as well as a lecturer and programme director at the College of Business Administration. International investment law is the main field of interest where Valts continues his research.

Valts has authored several learning manuals on administrative law and procedure.

The Legal 500 recommends him in the shipping and transport practice.

Conferences in Europe

RESTARTING THE SPORTS BETTING INDUSTRY, a hot topic at #MBGS2020VE

Zoltan Tundik

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Virtual conference addresses a vital topic of the sports betting industry on the 7th of May.

We have put together a lineup of sports betting industry experts who will join the opening panel discussion at our first virtual conference this year which will take place on the 7th of May.

You can register on this link to save your seat (no travel needed, you can attend from the comfort of your home or office)

PLEASE NOTE: If you are already a registered delegate of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, you don’t have to purchase a new ticket!

Worldwide disruption of the sports events due to COVID-19 is playing a major role in the halt of the sports betting industry. Restarting the industry will not be easy and we certainly can’t get back and see the same results as we did at the end of 2019. We are speaking here about the classic sports betting industry as virtual sports, eSports, social gaming have now become very popular.

The panel discussion will be joined by Domenico Mazzola (Commercial Director at Altenar), Jakub Myszkorowski (Chief Commercial Officer at STATSCORE), Chris Nikolopoulos (CCO at BETBY) and Sergio Stankovic (Sales Director at SBTech), and will be moderated by Jaka Repanšek (Media and Gaming Expert).

As mentioned above the virtual edition of #MBGS2020VE will be held on the 7th of May and will gather 300 gambling industry professionals who can attend virtually from their internet browser. The gathering will allow virtual delegates to network at virtual tables in the virtual deal room and conduct 1 on 1 meetings with their prospects/clients/partners.

Register here

For further inquiries about the 2020 edition of CEEGC and CEEG Awards, speaking/attending/sponsoring options, make sure to send an e-mail to Andrada Bota (B2B Sales Executive at Hipther Agency) or subscribe to the weekly newsletter on the following link.

Among the supporters of the conference, you will also find Square in the Air as a strategic partner, and leading media outlets such as Online Casino Reports, CalvinaAyre.com, Focus Gaming News, Gioco News, iGaming Business, iGamingCalendar.com, Gambling Insider, InterGame, Global Legal Group, FortunaWeb, Commission Magazine, Slotegrator and much more.

Visit www.virtualedition.marebalticumgaming.com for more details!

For media-related inquiries, please contact Alexandru Marginean (Marketing Specialist at Hipther Agency).

MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit Live and BSG Awards

Information about the live edition of the conference and BSG Awards, which will be held on the 6th of August, will be announced at a later stage. The online voting stage for BSG Awards 2020 has been stopped and will be reset in order to allow all participants to focus on different matters.

A new online voting stage will be started between 1 and 30 June. Further information will be released in the upcoming weeks.

MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, also known as the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit & Awards offers the opportunity for both new companies and veterans, to learn about industry insights and compliance update, while also being part of a group that is at the forefront of the gambling industry in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark, and also from the DACH region.

The Summit approaches all regulatory and compliance related aspects of the mentioned markets and also highlights some trending topics of the gambling industry.

For more details visit www.marebalticumgaming.com

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Conferences in Europe

#MBGS2020VE announces Tiago Aprigio, CEO at All-in Global among the speakers

Alex Marginean

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Virtual Edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit addresses global industry topics on the 7th of May.

With numerous gambling industry experts joining the panel discussions at the Virtual Edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, we are taking time today to introduce you to Tiago Aprigio, CEO at All-in Global.

Tiago Aprigio is the CEO at All-in Global (formerly known as All-in Translations) and feels motivated by exposing himself to different environments as well as constantly learning from different realities and people.

Worked in Sales, Marketing and Operations Management in distinct lines of business over the past 17 years. These industries include Aviation, Outsourcing of contact centers, back-office and airline representation functions, Localization, iGaming, Marketing, and Multimedia.

Tiago has a proven track of solid results in his functions and a soft spot for start-up businesses. Questioning the “whats and hows” is vital for any business success.

You can reach Tiago via his social media accounts found here or you can hear her input on the important subjects the industry is facing during our virtual conference. Register now to book your seat! 

By registering to the conference you are receiving access to the Virtual Conference Room and you can book your meeting with attending delegates in the Virtual Deal Room. The networking platform will be opened on the 23rd of April, giving you access to set meetings with prospects, partners, and experts.

The Virtual Edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit is the first announced virtual conference of the gambling industry and is part of the solutions we provide for quality networking and learning in the gambling industry.

For further inquiries about  the speaking/attending/sponsoring options, make sure to send an email to Andrada Bota (B2B Sales Executive at Hipther Agency) or subscribe to the weekly newsletter on the following link.

For media-related inquiries, please contact Alex Marginean (Marketing Specialist at Hipther Agency).

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Conferences in Europe

#MBGS2020VE announces Domenico Mazzola, Commercial Director at Altenar, among the speakers

Alex Marginean

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Virtual Edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit addresses global industry topics on the 7th of May.

With numerous gambling industry experts joining the panel discussions at the Virtual Edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, we are taking time today to introduce you to Domenico Mazzola, Commercial Director at Altenar.

Domenico Mazzola is Commercial Director of Altenar, a leading sports betting software provider based in Malta. Altenar works collaboratively with licensed operators, combining proven stability with a flexible and personalized service to offer clients the highest quality online sportsbook solutions.

With a strong background in sales strategy and software development combined with rich experience working across international and European markets, Domenico is an expert in developing successful commercial strategies and establishing and maintaining long-term business relationships.

Domenico previously held the position of Head of Sales at iGamingPlatform.com, where he was responsible for developing and executing strategic plans to achieve and maximize sales targets, solidifying the company’s reputation as a leading gaming solutions provider. Prior to this, Domenico worked as Account Manager at World Match Ltd, spearheading the company’s successful long and short-term sales strategies. Domenico’s professional background also includes over eight years of working as a software developer, honing his technical expertise.

A highly recognized industry figure, Domenico’s in-depth experience in both the business and technical side of the gaming industry places him in the unique position of being able to advise clients on all aspects of their gambling operations, taking into account their wider business objectives.

You can reach Domenico via his social media accounts found here or you can hear her input on the important subjects the industry is facing during our virtual conference. Register now to book your seat! 

By registering to the conference you are receiving access to the Virtual Conference Room and you can book your meeting with attending delegates in the Virtual Deal Room. The networking platform will be opened on the 23rd of April, giving you access to set meetings with prospects, partners, and experts.

The Virtual Edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit is the first announced virtual conference of the gambling industry and is part of the solutions we provide for quality networking and learning in the gambling industry.

For further inquiries about  the speaking/attending/sponsoring options, make sure to send an email to Andrada Bota (B2B Sales Executive at Hipther Agency) or subscribe to the weekly newsletter on the following link.

For media-related inquiries, please contact Alex Marginean (Marketing Specialist at Hipther Agency).

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