Latvian authorities reimburse losses of gambling operators due to Covid-19 pandemic

Latvian authorities reimburse losses of gambling operators due to Covid-19 pandemic

The State Revenue Service (SRS) of Latvia has transferred more than 75 million euros to companies that have been found to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns imposed in the country. A total of about 24,500 applications for aid were submitted. Meanwhile, the history of payments shows that the largest amounts went to representatives of the gambling industry.

On the list of biggest beneficiaries are gambling operators SIA Olympic Casino, Joker LTD and Alfor. These organizations are owned by Estonians, Czechs and Lithuanians, respectively. On the ninth place is a provider DLV, which is a developer of gaming content for land-based and online casinos. A subsidiary of Olympic Casino, the company Ahti, closes the top ten.

Some observers have expressed doubts about the advisability of supporting gambling establishments at a time when many non-gambling related companies have suffered from the crisis caused by Covid-19. Such a decision may be related to the industry’s financial value to the state. Casinos pay relatively large sums to the state each year. For example, in 2020, gambling establishments remitted more than 32 million euros, employing nearly 3,000 citizens in the process.

Gatis Eglitis, Latvia’s welfare minister, said that many politicians had tried to prevent large payments to gambling companies. According to the official, the money could have been channeled into the IT industry and other areas of the economy that pay more value-added tax on an annual basis. However, the opinion of a number of officials was not supported in Parliament.

The list of industries in need of support was previously approved by the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers. It included industries that cannot fully operate due to worsening epidemiological situation in the country.

Recall that the Dutch gambling regulator announced a large-scale blocking of unlicensed online casinos.

Sarah Richardson

Hi! My name is Sarah Richardson and I am a gambling analyst, I do analytics and forecasting from more than 10 years, I write interesting articles and express my opinion in gambling and betting directions. As well as reviews of different games. As well as application testing, sports forecasts and much more. Read my blog. I share my tips, observations and thoughts.