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Gambling revenue down 26% in Latvia

Latvia has reported a 26% decline in gambling revenue for the first half of 2021, according to the Ministry of Finance.

latv iagd

A total of €7m ($8.2m) was collected for the six months ending 30 June, which is around €16m less than expected.

Gambling in the country is currently organised by 17 merchants, ten of whom operate in casinos and gaming halls. Almost 3,000 workers are employed in the sector, which has been heavily impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“If we look at the six-month results, then in fact, the traditional gambling sites have worked for 16 days in total,” said Signe Birne, Chief Executive of the Lotteries and Gambling Monitoring Inspectorate.

“This has an impact on overall results. Of course, interactive gambling has not stopped. Unlike last year, when interactive gambling wasn't offered for about two months, they have worked nonstop this year. It also appears in the results that actually total revenue, which is in the course of six months, is from the interactive gambling.”

And such revenue from interactive gambling has grown by around 5% according to Jānis Trēgers, member of the Latvian Interactive Gambling Society, and Chairman of the board of 11.lv.

“Its trend is still growing, but it is in similar sizes as it has historically been in recent years,” said Trēgers. “If we compare to the last quarter before the pandemic, the total gambling volume in Latvia has fallen by two-thirds. This is very important. Namely, it can't be said that everyone who previously played is now gambling on the internet. This fall is extremely significant. 

“Even if some customers have migrated from the hall to the internet, it has in no way compensated for the extent seen before the pandemic.”

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