Before delving into the action and experiencing what the Latvian online casino space has to offer, it’s important to go over a couple of fundamentals. In today’s post, we’ll be covering what you need to know regarding the local regulations, taxes, and what is and isn’t illegal. We’ll also throw in some helpful tips on how to have a pleasant time gambling online and keeping it safe.
The legality of online gambling in Latvia
To get straight to the point: yes, online gambling is generally legal in Latvia and it has been so since 2006, including for tourists. Land-based gambling was legal even before that starting in 1998 when the Law on Gambling and Lotteries came into effect. This goes in line with the general gambling philosophy of Northern European countries that tends to be rather liberal.
Licensing of online casinos in Latvia
To legally operate in Latvia, an online casino needs to obtain an appropriate license (relevant for all games that are based on betting on the outcome of a random event). Otherwise, Latvian ISPs will block access to the offender’s website. At the time of writing, there are only 7 operators that hold one. The only kind of lottery allowed in the country is Latvijas Loto, an official state-owned operator. This is the only place where you’ll be able to play bingo and keno.
How to find the top online casino operators in Latvia
Even though many are licensed, keep in mind that not every operator has an operational online casino. Due to this, it’s easy to get confused. An easy solution is to check online casino comparison websites to see whether the casino you’re interested in is licensed to accept players from Latvia. These comparison websites also contain other helpful information such as ratings, conditions, bonuses, promotions, etc.
Are there any exceptions you should know of?
Although Latvia has a liberal gambling climate, there is a notable exception; namely, blood sports. An example of this would be betting on the outcome of a chicken fight. In essence, these are banned because they feature elements of animal cruelty.
Gambling taxes in Latvia
Regardless of whether you’re planning to gamble in land-based or online casinos, be prepared to pay taxes on your winnings in Latvia. The exact rate, however, depends on the game played. Fortunately, online gambling has some of the lowest tax rates at 10%. In comparison, other variations of gambling such as sweepstakes are taxed at 15%.
General tips on how to have pleasant online gambling experience in Latvia
- Pick a trusted operator. It’s hard to go wrong with the ones that have the best online reviews and a legitimate gaming license.
- Stick to a bankroll. This will prevent you from making emotional bets or doubling your bet sizes only for the sake of chasing a loss.
- Take advantage of any ongoing promotions and bonuses. This will ensure that you get the best bang for your buck.
- Study the rules of the game you’ll be playing. This will allow you to know the odds in any given situation and adjust your bets accordingly.
Online gambling in Latvia can be a fun way to pass the time while honing your odds-calculation skills. Keep the above-listed tips in mind and you’ll be in for a ride of a lifetime!