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Latvia bans online gambling during coronavirus lockdown

Latvian gambling news

The Latvian government recently passed a bill banning all online gambling activity while the country is in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the back end of March, lawmakers in Riga approved new legislation that prohibited gaming and wagering with the exception of “interactive gambling, numerical lotteries and instant lotteries”.

However, it is now understood that Latvia’s Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection (IAUI) has suspended “all gambling licenses for physical gambling venues” as well as “interactive media and/or via electronic communication services”.

The IAUI’s legal director, Janis Ungurs, recently confirmed that every online gambling operator in the nation was “obliged to stop operations” as of Monday, April 6.

Ungurs also said that gaming, wagering and lottery firms were required to meet “all legal obligations with players/customers”.

While the bill states that Latvia’s online gambling ban will last until Tuesday, April 14, that end date could be pushed back as far as July.

The news comes amid a sharp increase in activity at online casinos and betting sites worldwide as a result of lockdown measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In New Jersey, which is one of the few jurisdictions in the United States where internet casinos are allowed to operate, online gaming figures have skyrocketed since Atlantic City’s casinos shut up shop in March.

In the United Kingdom, gambling awareness groups have urged online bookmakers and casino sites to institute a £50 daily betting limit in a bid to combat problem gambling.

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