Reliable Online Casino Sites in Latvia: The Journey till Here
Latvia has a strictly regulated gambling market, and online casinos are flourishing. Players wouldn’t have believed it even two to three years ago, but now the Latvian iGaming industry is trademarked by the players’ trust in their iGaming authority.
When searching for an online casino Latvia authorities approve of, you don’t need to worry about being scammed or tricked. However, it wasn’t always this way, so join us as we look at the journey to this point.
Latvia’s Struggle with Illegal Casino Sites
When we talk about “Latvia struggling with illegal casino sites,” we don’t mean decades ago. Nor do we mean before they established the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Authority (LGSA). No, as little as two years ago, in 2021, Latvia struggled with illegal offshore casinos. Despite regulations being in place to prevent it for the last two and a half decades, these sites ran rampant.
Players were playing real money and free casino games in Latvia that the state authority didn’t regulate. In 2021, illegal offshore casinos were valued at around €33 million. It significantly impacted the legal casino sites’ revenue. Since legal sites also affect the state revenue, you can understand why the government was unhappy.
Enforcing Strict Regulations Was Key
The key to solving this dilemma was to crack down harder on these sites. Banks started to ban payments to non-regulated casinos. The LGSA also became more stringent in revoking licensing and banning establishments that don’t follow the rules. The government implements IP bans on unregulated casino sites. Latvian locals who use such sites can also receive fines.
Latvian Gambling Market in 2023
The above measures might seem strict, especially when compared to other countries. However, the Latvian government reached its goal with a fully regulated market that scarcely sees offshore casinos anymore. Instead of being upset, Latvian residents seem to trust the LGSA more, and its iGaming industry is thriving.
The country can see the benefits now that the gambling market is back on its feet. The LGSA reported that 2022 ended with €290 million turnover from regulated casinos, of which around €260 million is in profits. While this is still lower than a few years ago, it’s a remarkable improvement considering the offshore casinos operating in 2021.
Authorities Still Increasing Regulated Presence
While strict regulations are in place, it doesn’t stop others from legally entering the market. Gaming Corps, who’s been extensively expanding in the European market, now also received approval from the Latvian LGSA to join the country’s regulated market.
A Thriving, Regulated iGaming Market
Latvia is now one of the success stories of regulated iGaming markets. While it continues to have its challenges, players can enjoy authentic online casinos with quality features and promotions. Many regulated casino platforms are available, and it keeps growing by the year.