The Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of Latvia (IAUI) now wants to know whether the temporary gambling ban, which also applies to arcades, bingo halls and betting offices, should also apply to the 12 licensed online gambling companies in the country.
Inconsistencies in closure arrangements
Although the Latvian government also called for interactive gambling to be closed in its infectious disease containment regulations, it is currently unclear which areas of online gambling are included.
Gaming providers such as the Playtech group, which operates a live casino studio in Riga, are not affected by the measures, according to media reports.
Cross-party Latvian politicians had voted on Friday to close online gambling companies, but had been criticized for the impact on the job market.
Latvian Minister of Social Affairs reports rising unemployment
Measures to protect the population have affected numerous businesses in Latvia. As the Latvian Minister of Social Affairs Ramona Petravica announced on Tuesday, 14 companies from the gaming, hospitality, transport and warehouse logistics sectors have already announced layoffs. It currently affects almost 3,000 people across the country. In the event of layoffs, the state has provided an aid fund of 2 billion euros, from which 75% of monthly wages are to be paid up to a ceiling of 700 euros.
The IAUI is now demanding that the government be corrected to clarify the matter. This is likely to be of great economic importance for the online gaming industry.
There are only 1.92 million people living in the Baltic state, but the online gaming industry still generated more than 38 million euros last year.