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Latvia – Another six slot halls told to close in Riga

By - 8 February 2021

Riga City Council has cancelled the operating licences of six slot halls for breaking new urban planning rules, as they were all based in housing areas or close to Riga’s historic centre protection zone.

According to Latvia’s gambling legislation, local governments can revoke casino, gambling, bingo hall and betting shop licenses, if they believe the operation of such facilities harms the interest of residents of the neighbourhood or the nation as a whole.

The order to close was made by the Security, Public Order and Corruption Prevention Committee and takes the total number of closures takes the total of closures in the Latvian capital to 43. Those remaining licences will run out in five years.

Politicians in Riga only want casinos operating in four and five-star hotels meaning around 200 will shut in total. The move would leave a handful of casinos including Olympic Voodoo Casino located in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Shangri La Casino located in Kempinski Hotel Riga, Empire Casino and lounge in Mercure Riga Centre and Royal Casino Spa. Olympic Entertainment Group currently operates 29 casinos in the Latvian capital. The first wave of closures saw 42 gambling venues in the historical center of the Latvian capital closed in 2017 although Riga’s fight against gambling began in 2011 when the City Council stopped issuing any new licenses.

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