Online Casino Licence from Latvia
The Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of the Republic of Latvia began work on the 1st of January 1998. It is subordinate to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic. The Inspectorate includes legal and control departments. The legal department includes divisions of licensing and financial analysis.
The main legislative acts regulating the gambling business in the country are the Law On Gambling (Azartspēļu un /izložu likums) which entered into force on 01/01/2006, and the Law on Taxes on Lotteries and Gambling (Likums “Par izložu un azartspēļu nodevu un nodokli”) in force from 01/01/1996, and is amended annually. They must also follow the Regulations Regarding Systems for the Operating Interactive Gambling, Interactive Lotteries and Sale of Lottery Tickets and Acceptance of Participation Fees in force from 27/03/2018
The following types of gambling are allowed in Latvia:
- Slot machines
- Card games
- Dice games
- Placement of bets and sweepstakes
- Phone gambling
A licence issued by the Inspectorate is valid for an indefinite period and requires annual confirmation.
The Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of the Republic of Latvia issues licences for the provision of online casino services (including bookmakers) and licences for servicing gambling establishments.
Jurisdiction and Authority
The licensing department of the Legal Department of the Inspectorate is responsible for issuing, revoking and confirming licences. The licence entitles the holder to organise gambling entertainment in the territory of the Republic of Latvia.
The organisation of lotteries on the Internet for cash, property, numbered and instant come are under the jurisdiction of the state joint stock company "Latvijas Lotto".
Local authorities have the right to restrict the activities of licence holders at their own discretion. The decisions of the Inspectorate and local authorities can be challenged in the Courts of Latvia.
Arbitration and Player Protection
Licensed operators of online games are required to identify each visitor and provide full information about the licence, including the number and date of issue, on the pages of their online casino website.
Players have the opportunity to submit an application to the Registry of Self-Excluded Persons and contact support. The person in charge of the organiser is obliged to register the complaint and propose acceptable ways to resolve it.
The inspectorate considers complaints from players taking into account the information received from the licensee. The decision is sent to both parties. Players can appeal against the actions of the organiser and the Inspectorate in Court.
Winnings in lotteries must be at least 50% of the total number of bets made, in slot machines it must be at least 80% of the total amount of deposits. For gambling by phone it has to be at least 45% of the total number of bets made.
The amount of winnings in online casino entertainment (roulette, craps, card games) cannot be less than 80% of the total number of bets made.
How to Get an Online Casino Licence in Latvia
To obtain a licence the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- The commercial organisation is registered in Latvia as a joint stock company
- The authorised capital is not less than 1,400,000 euros
- The share of foreign participants or shareholders in the authorised capital of the organisation does not exceed 49%. The requirement does not apply to investors who are residents in:
- Countries of the European Union (EU)
- the European Economic Area (EEA)
- the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
- member states of international agreements approved by the Seimas, which provide for the relevant rules for foreign investments
- At least half of the Board Members of the Company must be taxpayers within the EU, EEA or OECD countries.
The Executives of the company must have an impeccable reputation and the right to conduct business.
To obtain a licence, the applicant must submit an application which is accompanied by:
- online gambling rules
- copies of financial statements (balance sheet and profit and loss statement) for the previous full quarters of the current year
- information about the credit liabilities of the organisation, their amount and loan maturity at the time of application
- information on transactions confirming monetary assets and property invested in the authorised capital of the applicant
- the company's development plan for the next year with an indication of the expected profit, distribution of income and expenses, profits and investments
- a statement that the members of the council (or Board) of the joint stock company and the auditor comply with the requirements of the Law
- a certificate of opening an account in a licensed Latvian financial institution for mutual transactions with players
- confirmation of the compliance of the online casino organisation system with the requirements of the Resolution and the Law, and the accreditation of the institution that issued the software compliance certificate
- information about the location of the hosting centre, the internet address of the casino resource, planned security measures and protection of personal data
- information about the person responsible for the organisation of gambling, their name, surname and personal identification code (if it is absent, the identity card data should be indicated (the number, date of issue and name of the issuing authority)
Within 90 days from the date of receipt of the application, the Inspectorate makes a decision on whether to issue a licence or to refuse it.
If the applicant is asked for additional information or documents, the Inspectorate makes a decision within 90 days from the date of their submission.
Taxes and Fees
The fee for issuing a licence needs to be paid before the issuance of the document and within 10 working days of receiving notification of the decision of the Inspectorate.
|LICENCE||AUTHORISATION FEE (in EUROS)||RE-REGISTRATION (in EUROS)|
|Land-based casino with an online resource||427,000|| |
|Online gambling establishment||200,000||37,000|
|Service provider (less than 25 pieces of equipment)||120,000||120,000|
|Service provider (more than 25 pieces of equipment)||400,000||400,000|
The gambling tax rate for online establishments is 10% of the income received from each game offered by the licensee.
The state-owned company Latvijas Lotto pays out 10% of the proceeds from ticket sales from the online lotteries (minus the paid out winnings).
In accordance with the provisions of the Law, companies registered in the EU, EEA, countries-participants of the OECD agreement and agreements ratified by the Seimas of the republic can apply for a licence in Latvia.
No, the right to organise online lotteries belongs to the state-owned company Latvijas Lotto.
The licence holder is obliged to ensure the payment of the winnings, observing the conditions:
- winnings not exceeding 720 euros are paid out immediately
- amounts over 720 euros, but not more than 14,300 euros, are paid during the working day
- Winnings over 14,300 euros are paid out within 30 days and in no more than two installments
The player's funds are transferred to the bank account from which the bets were made.